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Thursday, 29th January 2015
In General Japan News,

Fujitsu unveils drowsiness gadget for drivers

Japanese technology firm Fujitsu has unveiled a brand new gadget that is designed to measure the pulse wave of the wearer and therefore detect when he or she is too drowsy get behind the wheel of a car.

The sensor, dubbed FEELythm, is set for a February release and is designed to be worn around the neck of the driver. A clip-like sensor is attached to the earlobe, which measures the actual pulse. An LED lamp is used to obtain pulse wave data which is then transmitted to a smartphone.

Engineers commented that the major breakthrough came when they developed the idea of using the earlobe rather than the wrist, as the former is much more accurate since frequent movements of the latter can create incorrect readings.

Fujitsu also developed an algorithm used for frequency analysis to detect how alert the driver is. When drowsiness is detected, the device vibrates and the user's smartphone can be calibrated to play a voice message.

The company confirmed that the FEELythm has been in development for around a decade, with the device going through many incarnations as Fujitsu sought to reduce the variation in measurement results caused by individual differences and devices.

“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.

It is hoped that the device could save lives by informing drivers when they should take a break from the road.

Japan is renowned for its technology scene and those wishing to make the most of its reputation for world-class electronics should check out the Sony Building or the Panasonic Building during their stay. Akihabara, Tokyo's so-called Electric Town, is also worth looking at.