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Hillcrest Labs Introduces 9-Axis Freespace® Sensor Module

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hillcrest Labs, a market leader in multiplatform motion software and products, today announced the newest addition to its family of Freespace® Sensor Modules: the FSM-9, a fully-integrated 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU). The FSM-9 is a turnkey solution that combines MEMS sensor hardware with Hillcrest's Freespace MotionEngine Universal sensor fusion software and a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) in a compact surface-mount package. The FSM-9 is designed to enable fast development of high quality motion controlled products.

"The FSM-9 is an off-the-shelf motion solution that delivers ultimate performance for the rapidly growing markets where head-mounted displays and other wearable computers are used," said Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs. "Our ultra-high performance 9-axis sensor fusion and calibration software, low power system, and low cost package, enables customers to easily and quickly integrate motion into products for these markets and a wide range of other applications."

The FSM-9 combines Hillcrest's MotionEngine Universal software on an embedded microprocessor, along with a 3-axis digital gyroscope, 3-axis digital accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer (compass). MotionEngine software combined with a proprietary factory testing and calibration process provides 360 degrees of high-performance motion data, including: heading, linear acceleration, angular position, angular velocity, and cursor position. Key features of the FSM-9 include: configurable sampling rates for motion output up to 250 Hz, contextual smoothing for jitter-free visualization, proprietary calibration methods to reduce gyro drift, comprehensive automated calibration, and advanced magnetic field interference tracking and filtering to improve performance in various environmental settings. Motion data communication is through either USB or SPI, and the module is supported by libfreespace, Hillcrest's open source motion control API, enabling easy integration into existing applications.

Compared to Hillcrest's 6-axis module (the FSM-6), the 9-axis module includes a heading reading, offers enhanced angular position accuracy, and reduces gyroscope drift. As such, the FSM-9 is an ideal solution for head-mounted displays (HMDs) and wearable computing used for virtual/augmented reality systems, military simulation, and law enforcement applications. In addition, the FSM-9 can be used in industrial automation, robotics, pedestrian navigation, health and fitness, and medical diagnostic products. Hillcrest currently works with numerous companies in these specialty areas, and expects the FSM-9 to be used by select customers in the coming months.

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