CIRCUITS AND DEVICES
■ The LC898212XA-MH autofocus controller IC
offers faster action, lower power consumption,
and a space-saving design.
Most cell phone cameras rely on an autofocus mechanism that uses a tiny motor to position the
lens. As one might expect, complaints related to this
function tend to be related to the machinery's slow
operation and high power consumption. Now, both
factors are addressed by a new chip from ON
specifically for smartphones.
According to the company, the LC898212XA-MH
control IC "is highly integrated, programmable, and
provides fast, accurate auto focus convergence while
consuming less power and generating less noise
interference than competing solutions." The chip
features digital logic with a closed-loop control system
and a function for a positioning sensor. The control
circuit filter coefficients are adjustable via an I2C
interface, so it can be programmed to achieve the
optimal convergence time for a variety of actuators.
An integrated ADC (analog-to-digital converter)
provides 10-bit precision for improved focus control.
No information was provided about which makes and
models of smartphones will be sporting the new
controller, but the company does have a division
devoted to Sanyo products. ▲
■ These sexy mannequins are looking back at you.
EYESEE YOU SEE ME
The next time you find yourself stopping to stare at a scantily dressed mannequin in a department store,
consider that she just might be looking back at you and
even recording and analyzing your behavior. As recently
reported by Bloomberg (
Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA (
italy.com) is now selling a version of its polystyrene
fashion dummies that has been fitted with the same basic
technology used to identify criminals in airports.
Inside the EyeSee mannequin's head is a camera that
sends images to facial-recognition software just like police
use. In addition, it also logs the age, gender, and race of
gawkers, plus the number of people who have stopped
to look and how long they stayed. In theory, the data is
used only for marketing purposes. For example, one store
introduced a new line of children's clothing after
discovering that most of its afternoon traffic consisted
of youngsters. Another added Chinese-speaking staff
after discovering that a third of its visitors after 4:00 P.M.