Eyeware & Melexis collaborate on 3D ToF sensor-based eye-tracking for driver monitoring systems
17 March 2020
Swiss-based 3D eye-tracking tech co, Eyeware & Belgium-based micro-electronic semiconductor firm, Melexis are collaborating on an advanced driver monitoring system (DMS). The DMS leverages Eyeware’s attention-sensing & monitoring technology, which uses Melexis’ new MLX75027 3D time-of-flight sensors with VGA resolution, to enable robust eye gaze & head tracking for in-cabin driver monitoring, even in sunlight.
As a pioneer in the field of eye-tracking, Eyeware uses 3D time-of-flight (ToF) cameras to overcome the limitations of infrared-based tracking technology. The company has developed its algorithms using proprietary strategies that are based on data-driven machine learning approaches, making it applicable in systems using low power, cost-effective and compact sensors.
“This collaboration demonstrates the robustness and wider range of head movement that can be achieved using ToF technology, compared with current driver monitoring systems," said Gualtiero Bagnuoli, Product Marketing Manager, Melexis. "Melexis' MLX75027 3D time-of-flight sensor with VGA resolution, used in the demonstrator, employs a high modulation frequency (20-100MHz) to drive the IR illumination. Along with the patented pixel design, this means the sensor is almost completely unaffected by light, resulting in robust and reliable operation under changing conditions, such as sunset."
The range data provided by the 3D time-of-flight sensor is used to further enhance the reliability of the head and gaze tracking capabilities of the system, enabling it to monitor a very wide range of head movement. The VGA 3D ToF sensor requires a minimal footprint, allowing it to be easily integrated into the rear-view mirror assembly.
"Although the resolution of the 3D time-of-flight sensor is lower than current driver monitoring system cameras, the DMS needs just one MLX75027 VGA 3D ToF sensor to track both driver and passenger," explained Bagnuoli.
Kenneth Funes, CEO & co-founder, Eyeware added: “We can localise eyes well, even under low resolution settings or under large head movements. Our technology also operates in a multiuser environment, to monitor car interiors with multiple passengers. This latest demonstrator shows our technology is very robust, coping well with changing lighting conditions. Eyeware is bringing these unique traits to the DMS market to make 3D eye tracking a reliable and competitive technology to be considered."
Melexis and Eyewere plan to demonstrate the new DMS at AutoSens Detroit, stand 41, May 12-14 2020, should the show go ahead as currently scheduled.
Eyeware is a Swiss computer vision company developing 3D eye tracking software for consumer depth sensing enabled cameras. Launched in September 2016, as a spin-off from the Idiap Research Institute, Eyeware's mission is to bring 3D eye tracking to consumer devices. In collaboration with industrial partners, Eyeware is bringing to market attention-sensing applications in multiple industries, including robotics, automotive, healthcare, consumer devices and retail.
Melexis designs, develops and delivers innovative micro-electronic solutions that enable designers to turn ideas into applications that support the best imaginable future. The company’s advanced mixed-signal semiconductor sensor and actuator components address the challenges of integrating sensing, driving and communication into next-generation products and systems that improve safety, raise efficiency, support sustainability and enhance comfort.
A world leader in automotive semiconductor sensors, Melexis has used its core experience in creating chips for vehicle electronics to expand its portfolio of sensors, driver ICs and wireless devices to also meet the needs of smart appliances, home automation, industrial and medical applications. Melexis sensing solutions include magnetic sensors, MEMS sensors (pressure, TPMS, infrared), sensor interface ICs, optoelectronic single point and linear array sensors and Time of Flight. The company’s driver IC portfolio incorporates advanced DC & BLDC motor controllers, LED drivers and FET pre-driver ICs, while Melexis has the know-how and expertise to build bridges between components, allowing them to communicate in a clear and fast way, whether wired (such as LIN, SENT) or wireless (RKE, RFID).
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