Aside from gestures, vital signs can also be measured with very high precision thanks to the high radio frequency. Therefore, the radar is an excellent candidate for in-car vital sign monitoring systems, to enable non-contact tracking of the driver’s state, e.g. to detect falling asleep, abnormal stress levels or possibly to prevent accidents due to acute health hazards, e.g. heart or epilepsy attacks. Another possible application is to monitor small children using motion and vital signs detection, even when the infant is covered by a blanket and asleep, e.g. to provide an alert in case a child is unintentionally left in a vehicle.
To enlarge data richness and spatial information, imec is currently building a 4x4 MIMO radar system, for which a new generation of radar chips is under development – incorporating the TX and RX as separate chips. This will allow a greater flexibility in distributing the MIMO array elements across the available area.
Imec - www.imec.be