CES 2019: Spotlight
by Spencer Chin, Managing Editor, ECN Mag
Testing Sensor Fusion for Autonomous Vehicles
Today, the annual electronic gadgets fest known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes center stage in Las Vegas. While consumer products such as large-screen TVs, virtual assistants, and personal robots will continue to grab headlines, the exhibition also spotlights developments in semiconductors, components, and subsystems that enable significant electronics innovations in consumer and industrial end products. This year, the spotlight falls on advances in communications and control systems in autonomous and electric vehicles, as well as in home and building automation.
Lidar Remains Hot
Autonomous vehicles remain a hotbed of development activity. RoboSense will demonstrate an upgraded version of its MEMS solid-state lidar, which the company says incorporates the intelligence to support Level 5 automated driving.
Radar Fights Back
Radar, which is locked in a head-to-head battle with lidar automotive system design-ins, will also be on display at CES.
High-Tech Homes, Commercial Buildings
Although WiFi has become a staple in many homes and commercial buildings, the need to handle higher amounts of data is straining existing networks. For instance, multi-user home networks are becoming more commonplace, to stream high content data and enable uses such as intra-home gaming.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) taking a firm hold, CES will also showcase the ongoing development of intelligent sensors to perform numerous monitoring functions.
In commercial buildings, there is increasing interest in smart technology to regulate lighting and temperature based on real-time room occupancy, to save energy. Ainstein, which develops intelligent mmWave radar systems, will demonstrate its building automation capabilities in a meeting room for Texas Instruments (TI). The technology is incorporated through TI’s 60-GHz mmWave radar over-the-door sensors.
Implemeted with Amazon’s Alexa, the sensors will inform TI staff whether a room is occupied, how many people are in a room, and where in a room they are located. These sensors do not include cameras, so there are no identification or privacy concerns. The sensors can also count the people in a room and adjust lighting, HVAC, and other systems to optimize comfort while minimizing energy use and costs.
Intelligent sensors also form the heart of Olea Sensor Networks’ IoT platforms, the latest version being the OleaVision Gen2™ for life presence detection. According to the company, the technology is able to identify the presence of humans and animals to a range of 10 m, even if the subject is motionless or sleeping. Applications for the technology include rear seat reminder systems in passenger vehicles, people monitoring in public, retail, or institutional settings, and industrial safety for both vehicles and environments.