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VitalBitTM (*) is an original software technology of Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM), which can sense the pulse by non-contact. The living body monitoring using the pulse rate allows you to sense the pulse by a camera without contact.

VitalBitTM is trademark of Asahi Kasei Corporation in Japan and the United States.

Creating a comfortable and reliable car society by VitalBit

The level of the automatic driving rises, and the cars evolve more and more these days. In such situation, it is expected that cameras on an installment panel and a dashboard in cars and drive recorders for not only outside but also inside of cars increase. These cameras are now used for monitoring drivers from their faces. In the future, the time that sensing not only faces but also total body information is applied in cars will come.

In the arrival of such a new age, VitalBit can sense the pulse rate of a driver and the crew by using cameras in cars, and the body monitoring using the pulse rate is enabled. You can realize monitoring at both day and night if you use NIR cameras.

In addition, you can achieve more functions if you use information provided from pictures of a NIR camera not only for VitalBit but also for a driver monitoring system with other elements.

How is the pulse rate being sensed ?

By analyzing the face picture which you photographed with a camera, VitalBit realizes the pulse rate measurement by non-contact. VitalBit senses pulse rate by detecting the information provided from the change of the blood volume in the blood vessel of people, which comes from a change of the absorptivity of blood hemoglobin of the face.

More concretely, we explain how VitalBit performs by using the face picture

  1.  A subject is identified by the face detection.
  2.  The pulse information is detected by the face picture (absorptivity changes of surface blood hemoglobin).
  3.  Pulse rate is calculated by the information.

A NIR camera enables measurement of the pulse rate not only in daytime but also at night. Generally, NIR lights have less absorptivity of the hemoglobin than visible ones, and precision (the S/N ratio) worsens. However, you can realize the measurement of the pulse rate with keeping precision by AKM’s original signal processing.

By analyzing the face picture which you photographed with a camera, VitalBit realizes the pulse rate measurement by non-contact.

How can you use hemoglobin to know your pulse rate ?

We explain a principle to calculate pulse rate from hemoglobin (Hb).

The hemoglobin in blood has a characteristic to absorb various lights in blood (Figure 1). As quantity of the blood in blood vessels changes depending on a heartthrob, that of the light absorbed to blood also changes (increases or decreases) depending on a heartthrob. As a result, brightness of a face changes at level that you cannot notice.

In this way, VitalBit calculates the pulse rate by using changes of brightness of a face.

Figure 1 Characteristic of hemoglobin to absorb lights