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Qualtre Gets $10M For Motion Sensing Technology

The company's MEMS gyroscopes yield better motion detection accuracy, range, and battery life

July 08, 2011
by Faith Merino

Motion sensor technology developer Qualtre announced Friday its latest $10 million round of funding from existing investors Matrix Partners and Pilot House Ventures, bringing the company’s total funding to $23 million to date.

Founded in 2008, Qualtre develops MEMS gyroscopes for consumer electronic devices like game controllers, mobile handsets, digital still and video cameras, 3D remote controls for audio and visual devices, and portable navigation systems. Recently, the company demonstrated the world’s first tri-axial solid-state silicon BAW (bulk-acoustic wave) gyroscope, which will form the next generation of motion sensor technology for new, emerging platforms, like tablets and smart TV remote controls.

So what is all this hoogity boogity about? Consider the motion sensor technology in your smartphone, Wii remote, or GPS unit (assuming you don’t have one in your phone). The sensors translate inertia into motion, but they run into challenges when faced with certain environmental factors like extreme temperatures, shock, or vibrations, which they can incorrectly translate as a motion signal.

Qualtre is designing motion detection technology that is immune to those environmental factors while delivering better accuracy.

Or, consider your Wii remote. Your remote has to be able to detect a wide range of motion, from the wide arc of swinging a tennis racket to the subtler movements of putting. The ratio of the largest detectable signal to the smallest detectable signal is referred to as Dynamic Range, and Qualtre’s high-frequency, high-stiffness sensing detectors deliver the widest dynamic range, which gives developers the freedom to create more applications from a single design.

At the same time, Qualtre’s technology focuses on low energy consumption, yielding longer battery life and thus higher adoption rates for the devices in which its technology is utilized.

“With the tremendous adoption of motion sensing across multiple consumer electronics platforms, the market opportunity is growing exponentially. We are excited to increase our investment in the Qualtre team, enabling them to accelerate the productization of their innovative technology and gain rapid market penetration,” said Stan Reiss of Matrix Partners, in a statement.

The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company plans to use the new funds to fuel product development and launch, and expand sales and supply chain infrastructure.

Qualtre Gets $10M For Motion Sensing Technology

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