tech

Fujitsu unveils drowsiness sensor for drivers

13 Comments
By Jyunichi Oshita, Nikkei Digital Health

Fujitsu Ltd has developed a wearable sensor that measures the pulse wave of a driver, decides whether the driver is drowsy and alerts the driver.

The sensor, FEELythm, will be released in February.

The main unit of FEELythm, which weighs about 90g, is hung from a neck, and a clip-like sensor is attached to an earlobe to measure pulse wave. The sensor is equipped with an LED lamp (infrared region), and pulse wave data is obtained from a light that has passed the earlobe. This method enables to measure pulse wave more accurately than methods using a wrist (whose movements can become noise), reflected light, etc, Fujitsu said.

Measurement results are transmitted to a smartphone, etc via Bluetooth Low Energy. And an algorithm developed by Fujitsu is used for frequency analysis to detect the driver's drowsiness. When the drowsiness becomes stronger, the parasympathetic nerve becomes predominant, reducing the frequency fluctuation of pulse wave, the company said. When the sensor detects drowsiness, the main unit vibrates, or the smartphone plays a voice message.

Fujitsu also employed measures to reduce the variation in measurement results caused by individual differences and devices. Specifically, the company added an automatic calibration function that corrects deviations from the standard value and a learning function that helps perform optimal calibration for each driver. The calibration value for each driver is stored in a cloud server, and the value is updated with the learning function, enabling to set an optimal value.

Fujitsu said it has been developing the elemental technologies of FEELythm for about 10 years.

"We aim to make it possible to collect data other than drowsiness data such as fatigue data and develop a product for general consumers," the company said.

© Japan Today

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13 Comments
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Good. Now you'll know when to step on the gas to get home faster after a night of business party drinking so you can fall asleep in bed instead of behind the wheel.

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Maybe this device can send me a push notification when I die as well.

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I could use one of those while at work to warn me when I start dosing off in front of my PC at work!!!

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Since most of the Japanese working population get less than 6 hours of sleep a night I forsee some amusing results from this device.

See: Chua, Eric Chern-Pin, et al. "Heart rate variability can be used to estimate sleepiness-related decrements in psychomotor vigilance during total sleep deprivation." Sleep 35.3 (2012): 325.

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Hate to play devil's advocate, but a vibration or music playing on the cell phone will not wake me up when chewing gum, opening the windows, and loud music doesn't do the trick... and do I really need a machine to tell me that I'm sleepy?

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Correction: a vibration or a voice message...

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TahoochiJan. 29, 2015 - 01:02AM JST Hate to play devil's advocate, but a vibration or music playing on the cell phone will not wake me up when chewing gum, opening the windows, and loud music doesn't do the trick... and do I really need a machine to tell me that I'm sleepy?

If you're a professional driver or someone operating heavy machinery, then yes. Even if you're just a regular driver you shouldn't be driving impaired.

What most people don't understand is that driving while sleepy is identical to drunk driving in terms of its effects on the nervous system. Slower reaction times, making the wrong call in stressful situations, etc.

Of course no police force in the world tests for sleepiness after a car crash, and the driver is so hyped up on adrenaline after the crash that it masks the effects for quite some time.

So the idea hear Tahoochi is NOT for the application to wake you up if you've fallen asleep while driving, but rather to get you to pull over at a rest stop and take a nap BEFORE you fall asleep at the wheel.

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Of course no police force in the world tests for sleepiness after a car crash

Not quite true.

In cases where drivers do not admit to falling asleep behind the wheel, law enforcement officials have nevertheless found ways to show evidence of fatigue by reconstruction, often with the assistance of traffic cameras, event data recorders, GPS tracking and even cellphone records. “I would not be surprised based on everything that’s now available to investigators and prosecutors to see more of these cases being charged,” said Joanne Thomka, director of the National Traffic Law Center of the National District Attorneys Association.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/nyregion/push-to-prosecute-drowsy-driving-may-hinge-on-its-definition.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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That's not a test slumdog, that's investigation. There is a difference.

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True, which is why I wrote "Not quite true" and not "Not true". You gave the impression that the police had no methods for dealing with fatigued driving and that is not the case.

Thank you for your input.

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slumdogJan. 29, 2015 - 04:44PM JST True, which is why I wrote "Not quite true" and not "Not true". You gave the impression that the police had no methods for dealing with fatigued driving and that is not the case.

Actually that's just what you read. I wrote that "Of course no police force in the world tests for sleepiness after a car crash, and the driver is so hyped up on adrenaline after the crash that it masks the effects for quite some time.", which is something quite different from what you read and then promptly misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented.

Thank you for your input.

No thanks for yours.

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Actually that's just what you read

No, law enforcement officials use many tools with which to test whether someone has been driving fatigued. I kindly showed readers this and corrected your error that made it seem like police do nothing and have no tools with which to identify a driver that has been driving fatigued. You further incorrect suggested that because a driver might be "so hyped up on adrenaline after the crash that it masks the effects for quite some time" that law enforcement had no way to determine if a driver had been driving fatigued. However, readers will note that this is not the case at all. You are welcome for my correcting you. I am happy to help you out.

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Frungy, I was trying to say that regardless of a machine telling them that they are tired, when people become drowsy while driving, they will either do one of two things: Pull over and rest, or keep driving while trying to wake themselves up.

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