New driver surveillance camera at CES 2022 detects your heartbeat


It doesn’t sound like much, but this camera array is unbelievably sensitive.


This story is part of THOSEwhere CNET covers the latest news on the most amazing technology to come.

Automotive and aerospace subcontracting company Gentex develops a hypersensitive camera for vehicle interiors, and the company presents it at CES 2022. The idea is to use this technology for next-level driver and cab monitoring. The company’s optical system is so responsive that it can sense your heartbeat, detect the breath of a sleeping baby, and even distinguish objects that are not in its line of sight.

It may sound like witchcraft, but there is nothing mystical about what Gentex is doing here. Essentially, engineers are bringing facial recognition technology from smartphones to the automobile. Neil Boehm, CTO and VP of Engineering at Gentexexplained, “It’s similar to that, except we use a laser system to create 5,000 to 7,000 points.” These light spots are then used to create an accurate depth map of the entire vehicle interior. “With these dots, we can actually detect movement,” he said, but not just someone gesturing wildly towards the camera lens; on the contrary, the system can pick up microvibrations. When your heart is beating, for example, it rustles your clothes just enough for the sensors to register it. In the case of an infant who is napping, their breathing imperceptibly moves the car seat, which the system is sensitive enough to detect.

Boehm said the technology includes a lens that has a 170-degree field of view and an around 5-megapixel camera sensor. Infrared LEDs are used for two-dimensional imaging, although a laser creates “structured light”, i.e. this depth map of small dots. All in all, everything is compact enough to be mounted in an overhead console or even in a mirror housing.

The sensor assembly is small enough to be easily mounted in an overhead console or mirror housing.


Gentex’s new sensing technology, which it acquired late last year after purchasing an Israeli start-up called Guardian Optical Technologies, can be used as an advanced recall system for the rear seats so that you don’t ‘forget your child or pet in the car, but it can also be used to improve safety. The system is smart enough to know where people are sitting, how far the driver is from the steering wheel, and even where their hands are, factors that can be used to fine-tune the deployment of airbags in a crash to maximize efficiency. security. As in more and more vehicles these days, Boehm said the technology supports live updates, so it can be improved over time as new features become available.

“We have work to do there,” Boehm said, as Guardian Optical Technologies has closed its doors due to COVID-19, but it sees this highly sensitive vehicle monitoring technology coming to market. here four to five years “. He said the estimate is driven by the automotive development process, which typically takes a few years to bring new vehicles to market. When it arrives, do you expect Gentex offer OEMs a variety of solutions, from basic driver monitors to cameras that map the entire interior of cars.

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