Getting sleepy behind the wheel? Your seat will tell (ES)

click to enlargeFinally something useful in automotive biometrics! Researchers from Spain’s Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV) have integrated sensors into a car seat and seat belt to continuously track the driver’s heart beat and respiration, with the aim of warning a drowsy driver. Data is gathered through a signal-processing unit (SPU) in real time, then sent to a computer program which through modeling patterns of fatigue in these two metrics, determines whether the driver is drowsy. It’s in working prototype save the proactive warning part, which does present a design challenge. (An electric shock? A VC10 at takeoff? Jimi Hendrix or Queen at 80 dB?) It’s appropriately dubbed The Harken Project. A potential life-saver far more useful than Ford SYNC/IMS’s Allergy AlertPress release. Medgadget  Hat tip to reader David Albert MD @DrDave01 via Twitter (!)  

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