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Next-level heartbeat detection! AKM flexes a decade of R&D for superior mm-wave radar sensing 

In another sensor-related interview from ipXchange at CES 2024, Guy chats with Chris about Asahi Kasei Microdevices’ (AKM’s) latest 60-GHz millimetre-wave radar sensor. In this case, AKM demonstrates use of its technology in partnership with Pontosense for an in-cabin monitoring solution that can wirelessly detect whether a child or animal has been left unaccompanied in a car. But that’s a gross oversimplification! 

As Chris explains, AKM’s devices set themselves apart from competitor solutions with vastly improved detection accuracy. Using a 3D antenna placed at the middle of the car’s roof/ceiling, AKM’s solution can detect not only the complete occupancy of the vehicle, but it can also detect a child’s heartbeat and breathing, even when the child is covered with a blanket.  

Should the child stop breathing, the car knows and can alert someone to come help, but more appropriately, it can notify the driver if they have accidentally left a child or animal in the car. It is clear how AKM’s device can be used to greatly increase vehicle safety as this could also be used to auto-disengage airbags or adjust the deployment mechanism according to the passenger.  

Other applications for AKM’s millimetre-wave radar sensors include fall detection for the elderly – in this case it allows patients/residents to maintain their privacy as there is no video feed – but the ultra-high accuracy also means that these devices can be used to create wireless stethoscopes, which could change the landscape of medical wards in an already demanding working environment. 

Learn more about AKM’s AK5816 and AK5818 60-GHz radar sensors for consumer and automotive applications respectively by following the link to the board form below, where you can also apply to evaluate the technology for use in a commercial application. 

Keep designing! 

Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK5816 & AK5818 60-GHz Radar ICs (Consumer & Automotive Variants)

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