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Car manufacturers have been taking note of Plessyís EPIC sensor technology for low cost, reliable detection systems. The companyís new version of EPIC, the PS25203, has a lower gain and higher input impedance making it ideal for certain types of contactless ECG measurement such as driver fatigue monitoring or seat occupancy. The EPIC sensor measures tiny changes in an electric field.
In automotive apps it can be used for driver monitoring of health and alertness by detecting heart rate and respiration or determining the occupancy of the car to adjust the ride, handling and air bag deployment depending on the size and location of occupants. The EPIC sensor electrodes can be easily and discretely incorporated inside the seat backs to acquire biometric data.
The original version of EPIC sensors were changed by adjusting the DSP and amplification circuitry, so that the sensors can be tuned for detection at a distance as required for several automotive apps. Volume production pricing for the PS25203 is in the region of $1-2. The PS25203 is supplied in a custom 4-pin PCB hybrid package measuring 10.5mm x 10.5mm x 3.45mm.