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Digital Dashboard Device Detects Driver Drowsiness 117

Pickens writes "Science Daily Headlines reports that researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed a self-contained, dashboard-mounted assistant system that tracks a driver's eye movements and issues a warning before the driver has an opportunity to nod off to sleep. 'What we have developed is a small modular system with its own hardware and programs on board, so that the line of vision is computed directly within the camera itself,' says Professor Husar. 'Since the Eyetracker is fitted with at least two cameras that record images stereoscopically — meaning in three dimensions — the system can easily identify the spatial position of the pupil and the line of vision.' The cameras, which can be installed in any model of car, evaluate up to 200 images per second to identify the line of vision. If the camera modules detect that the eye is closed for longer than a user-defined interval, it sounds an alarm. The Eyetracker also has applications in computer games where players could look around themselves without requiring a joystick to change their viewing direction, and in marketing and advertising, where researchers could determine which parts of a poster or advertising spot receive longer attention from their viewers."

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek