Pyreos, the Edinburgh-based passive infrared sensor developer and manufacturer, has launched an open API. This embedded software library allows customers to work with its ezPyro thin-film mid-infrared sensors at the software level.

The ezPyro sensor is the world’s smallest pyroelectric sensor with a digital interface.

Applications range from flame and gas detection through to sensing the direction of human motion and recognizing hand gestures for wearable devices and the internet of things (IoT).

The ezPyro API will make it quicker and easier for customers to develop applications around ezPyro sensors.

It includes routines to connect to an ezPyro sensor, configure the sensor and read its digital data stream over an industry-standard I²C interface.

The ezPyro API will also allow customers to set up a network of ezPyro sensors, giving them the ability to carry out synchronised sampling.

The fully-documented C source code of the API is made available to customers and can be incorporated into their own application code without the need to pay a licensing fee.

The API code is efficient and has been optimised for speed of execution, minimal memory footprint and low system power consumption.

The API is written for an STM32 ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, but can be easily ported to other ARM-based microcontrollers.

Andrew Wallace, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Pyreos, said: “Our ezPyro sensors have just become even easier to use.

“The high level of integration of our digital mid-infrared sensors and the API allow our customers to work with our components directly on the software level.

“We believe this is an essential step in shortening customer development and prototyping cycles, which is especially important in the markets for IoT, gas, flame, motion and gesture sensor nodes that we serve.”

The ezPyro sensor comes in an SMD package measuring just 5.65mm by 3.7mm, with a height of 1.55mm, and combines 1 or 4 sensor elements with a readout IC with an I2C interface

Pyreos’ pyroelectric sensors have response times measured in milliseconds and provide exceptional sensitivity over a wide frequency range.

Current consumption ranges from 1μA to 70μA depending on the power mode used, compared with figures measured in mA for similar products.

The chip’s very low-power consumption means that it is optimised for battery-powered detectors.

ezPyro sensors are very stable and can therefore go without re-calibration for years, thereby significantly reducing the cost of ownership of detectors.

Pyreos launched its ezPyro sensor at the 2016 Sensor+Test fair held at Nuremburg in Germany and has already secured its first volume design-ins.

Pyreos is attending the 2017 Sensor+Test trade show in Nuremburg between 30 May and 1 June and can be found in Hall 5 on stand 231.  Visitors can make an appointment in advance here.