Semiconductors & ICs
Radar Health Monitor Coming Soon to IoT-Connected Homes
Last year, researchers from Kyoto University and Panasonic Corporation developed a wireless radar-based device that could instantaneously and accurately measure the body's vital signals such as respiration and heartbeat - and now they've made it even better. The sensor combined radar with signal analysis algorithms to measure how the body moves as the heart beats. Body movements vary considerably, so the software filters isolate just the heart's minute motions. While the original technology showed promise, the prototype was the size of a microwave oven. "After extensive testing we achieved great improvements," says Toru Sato, lead researcher at Kyoto. "The device now utilizes the 79 GHz frequency band, instead of the previous 60 GHz. We also incorporated CMOS semiconductors. As a result, range and resolution improved, and it's now only about one tenth the size - as big as a smoke detector." Because of the new frequency band, the sensor can now measure the heart rates of multiple individuals in the same room, separated by as little as 3 inches. The team hopes that the improved specs will allow such sensors to be installed in a variety of household appliances - such as lighting - to safely monitor the vitals of residents.