Elliptic Labs is in talks with Asian handset manufacturers to get the chip -- which uses sound waves to interpret a user's hand movements -- embedded in consumer devices, the BBC reported Thursday.
Current gesture recognition systems can only interpret hand movements within a very small zone, Elliptic designers said, while the ultrasonic chip can recognize gestures anywhere in a 180-degree field.
"The user needs to learn the exact spot to gesture to instead of having a large interactive space around the device," interface designer Erik Forsstrom said of current technologies.
"With a small screen such as a phone or a tablet, the normal body language is not that precise," he said. "You need a large zone in which to gesture."
Elliptic's gesture-control system offers a wide field and can recognize gestures made as far as 3 feet from a device, identifying mid-air gestures accurately, he said.
If users become comfortable with the effects their gestures have on a display screen, he said, "it is quite likely that this is the next step within mobile."