Hyundai Mobis introduces health monitoring earpiece for drivers

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South Korean automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis has developed a bio-health technology that contributes to public safety.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

The company said in a press statement that it took three years of research and development to develop M.Brain, an earpiece with sensors that measure a driver’s health condition in real-time by detecting brainwaves around the ear. Machine learning is applied to interpret those brainwave signals. 

The smartphone-enabled device can notify users if they are losing attention while driving.

Hyundai Mobis is set to try out the earpiece for public bus drivers in the Gyeonggi-do Province.

WHY IT MATTERS

Hyundai Mobis is coming up with various bio-health technologies to contribute to public safety. With its latest device, it claims to have made the first application of brainwave measurement technology to the automotive industry. Brainwave measurement, it said, is “one of the most advanced and challenging technologies to work with”.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

As early as 2011, the automotive industry looked to incorporate health monitoring inside cars. Ford was arguably the first player in the in-car health game with its research on heart rate monitoring seats. The project, however, was reportedly shelved in 2015 as cheaper health monitoring devices became available in the market. An alliance was even formed among Ford, Microsoft, Healthrageous and BlueMetal Architects to jointly develop new technologies to help drivers monitor their health and wellness while on the road.

Later in 2016, another automaker, Audi AG, unveiled its project to develop a system integrating wearable health technology with cars called Audi Fit Driver. 

Hyundai might be the only player committed to developing autonomous driving healthcare technology. In 2018, it unveiled the DDREM (Departed Driver Rescue & Exit Maneuver) which prevents accidents due to drowsy driving. The following year, it came up with an eye-tracking Driver State Warning system. Then last year, it developed the Rear Occupant Alert system to track infants in the backseat using radar.

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