Welcome to the Hillcrest Labs' blog!  

Sensors are making their way into nearly all aspects of our lives. You'll find them in smartphones, watches, robots, virtual reality systems, autonomous cars, and sprinkled throughout smart cities. As you embark on creating new innovations and the next generation of sensor-enabled products, we want to share what we have learned over the past 15 years developing sensor fusion software and systems. This blog will help you stay up to date with the latest advancements in sensor technology, the challenges working with MEMS sensors and the exciting products and applications that sensors uniquely enable.
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What is a Quaternion?

This post will dive into various ways of thinking about rotations mathematically, and which method we think is best.

Jul 2019

How IMUs are used in VR applications

AR/VR applications are growing in popularity, but they come with unique design challenges that impact user experience. Learn about how IMUs can help address these challenges in our post.

Jun 2019

How are Visual SLAM and LiDAR used in robotic navigation?

Navigation is a critical component of any robotic application. This post dives into the two of the most common tools for SLAM navigation: Visual SLAM and LiDAR-based SLAM.

Jun 2019

Optimize Your IMU with Dynamic Calibration

This post dives into the differences between the three main types of sensor calibration, the pros and cons of each, and how dynamic calibration can help you account for sensor value deviations in real-world usage.

May 2019

Sensor Hub v. Sensor Fusion: What’s the Difference?

When you use sensors, you need to process the raw data into meaningful context. So, how do sensor hubs and sensor fusion work together to improve your product performance? Read on to find out.

Apr 2019

To Learn or Not to Learn: Does Your Device Really Need Machine Learning?

What does your device need to do with the data it gathers from sensors? Our latest blog post explores different data processing strategies to help you choose the right approach for your application.

Apr 2019

When to Use a Magnetometer (And When You Shouldn’t)

Adding more axes isn’t always the right approach. So how do you determine when to use a 6-axis IMU and when you should be using a 9-axis IMU with a magnetometer? Read on to find out.

Mar 2019

Behind the Sensor Curtain

 In an ideal world, sensors work perfectly, measuring output exactly as it is in the real world. But in real life, all sensors have anomalies that affect their measurements. Our SQTS (Sensor Qualification Test System) allows us to test the most common anomalies in sensors. 

Mar 2019

Motion Sensors: The Future is Now

As we shipped our 100 millionth product, we paused to reflect on the milestone and look back at the past 15+ years of innovation in the motion sensor industry. We discovered that many of the early predictions made about how sensors will become core to the modern user experience have since come to pass.

Feb 2019

Motion Sensing: How many axes do you need?

Sensors of the same type don’t necessarily measure the same “things”. Our latest blog post compares single- and multi-axis sensors to help you decide the right configuration for your application.

Feb 2019

Motion Sensors: Going Far Beyond Just Counting Steps

Sensors have surpassed merely, well...sensing. This blog post looks at current trends in the sensor market and how some applications are taking an AI-empowered departure.

Jan 2019

Solving Robotic Vacuum Challenges for Tomorrow’s Consumer

Modern robotic vacuums deliver consistent performance and enhanced cleaning features, but continue to struggle with uneven terrain and navigation challenges. Multi-axis motion sensors are the key to unlocking the full potential of robotic cleaners.

Jan 2019

How to Evaluate a Sensor Vendor

Choosing the right sensor from the right provider is essential to developing industry-leading products. Our latest post gives you five criteria to consider when choosing the right vendor for your next application.

Jan 2019

Sensor Technology: Deciphering your Choices

The key to choosing the best IMU for your project is a full understanding of what is possible with the technology.

Dec 2018

Universal Technical Challenges in IMUs

As sensors continuously enhance our everyday interactions with technological devices, glitches in these applications can interfere with the user experience. Our latest blog explores universal technical challenges with sensors and the UX issues they create. 

Dec 2018

Exploring the Application of Gyroscopes

A gyroscope senses change in orientation of a device, and when paired with an accelerometer, is an excellent tool for measuring the orientation of an object in 3D space.

Nov 2018

What is an IMU Sensor?

Weaving in between cars in a game on your phone, keeping a quadcopter drone afloat despite changing winds, vacuuming your house with a robot, and translating your precise movements when wearing a VR headset all have one thing in common. They each use sensors, specifically an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), in order to function properly.

Nov 2018