XeThru sees through

These sensors work in a variety of applications

Photo courtesy of XeThru The company’s chips are available in kits for developers to tinker with.

Photo courtesy of XeThru
The company’s chips are available in kits for developers to tinker with.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

In the government’s new “entrepreneur plan,” there are a few examples of promising startups. One of them is Novelda AS. It is a privately held, R&D-driven fabless semiconductor company, specializing in nanoscale wireless low-power technology for ultra-high resolution impulse radar.

The Consumer Electronics Show 2016 has just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Every year, this global trade show lifts technology and imagination to the next level. The sky is the limit with companies showing off their latest tech innovations driving us forward. For Novelda, comfort is a big focus when it comes to consumer products. The company’s new technology XeThru can be implemented in consumer sleep monitoring products and blend seamlessly in any environment. Their monitoring sensors can be placed on a nightstand or in the ceiling above the bed. They understand the importance and rise of sleep technology as an additional crucial gateway for one to improve sleep quality.

The company’s new sensor technology is a complete radar system integrated on a single chip. The technology can be used to implement a high-precision electromagnetic sensor for human vital sign monitoring, personal security, environmental monitoring, home automation, and other sensor applications. XeThru can improve the quality of life and personal comfort and safety by enabling non-intensive sensors that collect relevant data while preserving full privacy. The technology combines all traditional sensor functions into one. It detects presence, distance, proximity, and gestures and can also see through different materials.

The company was founded in 2004 as a spinout from the University of Oslo. Today they have 33 employees and are headquartered in Kviteseid in Telemark, with offices in Oslo and Trondheim. A year ago Investinor, Alliance Venture, a serial entrepreneur, and Sparebanken I SMN Invest together invested 77 million NOK in the company.

The CEO is Alf-Egil Bogen, one of the founders of Atmel, based in San Jose, California, where he also has been chief marketing officer. In 2013 he moved to Energy Micro AS, based in Oslo, as CMO. Energy Micro was sold to Silicon Labs. Bogen is on the board of directors.

In comparison to traditional technology, Novelda’s impulse radar transceiver offers several improvements and value-added features. The ability to detect objects behind obstacles, coupled with increased speed and high sensitivity, not only makes it complementary to or a substitute for existing technologies such as ultrasound, video, and infrared sensors, but it also caters to new areas of application. The radar caters to sensor applications across a range of sectors including stress and pulse monitoring, heart beat monitoring, distance and road obstacle detection, and motion detection.

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.