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Innovative tech that could help detect falls while maintaining privacy debuts at CES 2024


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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New technology that can provide a non-intrusive way of alerting that somebody has had a fall made its debut at CES 2024.

It is new millimetre-wave (mm-wave) radar transceiver technology from Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) called the AK581x. This is a 60 GHz mm-wave radar transceiver integrated circuit that delivers accurate, high-resolution detection with reliability.

At this year’s CES, attendees had the chance to experience AK581x’s capabilities firsthand, as the AKM booth featured the radar solution set up in a room to simulate monitoring for elderly individuals.

“Too many people are injured in situations where they are left unattended, whether it’s children accidentally being left in a hot vehicle or older adults suffering complications from falls; emerging technologies like these could make all the difference,” said Gregg Rouse, President of AKM Semiconductor.

“Our partnership with Pontosense has allowed for the creation of a new solution with unprecedented detection sensitivity that enables rapid emergency response in situations where time is of the essence.”

The technology enables the simultaneous detection of multiple persons’ respiratory rates and positions. When combined with Pontosense’s AI- and machine learning-driven software, the AK581x aims to deliver a solution that offers the flexibility of different levels of resolution and fields of view, without the need for cameras and microphones.

Discussing how the new technology can be used to monitor elderly individuals, Gregg told AT Today: “This technology can be applied into bedrooms and bathrooms to detect falls while maintaining the elderly person’s privacy because it does not use camera or microphone technology.

“A company that would implement this technology could implement it many ways, for example to notify family members or notify emergency services when a fall was detected.

“Smart home and home security are also use cases because you can accurately detect intruders while not losing any privacy in bedrooms or bathrooms where you don’t want to use security cameras.

“For more information about how this technology works for fall detection, mm-wave is used to first detect a breathing object to know if a person is in the room. Then, mm-wave is used to detect the rapid change in height, followed by a breathing object that is now on the floor for several seconds.”

The AK581x series is set to be available in Q2 of 2024. It will be available in the UK, the firm has confirmed with AT Today.

Gregg concluded: “We’re not just showcasing a product; we’re demonstrating a shift in how our lifestyles can be enhanced by new technologies. This evolution in our radar transceiver technology is about understanding human needs in an increasingly automated world, promoting safety and independence for the elderly, and providing peace of mind for parents.”

Asahi Kasei Microdevices is a Japan-based electronic components company. It is part of the Asahi Kasei Group, which is a global firm operating in the material, homes, and health care sectors.

Taking place annually and organised by organised by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest global stages for companies to showcase their latest and greatest technology innovations.

The show covers a wide variety of sectors including automotive, robotics, gaming, wearables, sports technology, and accessibility. It is also a chance to discover some of the latest assistive technology advancements.

See 13 of the award-winning assistive technology innovations from CES 2024 here.

The post Innovative tech that could help detect falls while maintaining privacy debuts at CES 2024 appeared first on AT Today - Assistive Technology.
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