By Andrew Liszewski
Most research and development facilities start from the ground up when it comes to designing new technology, but engineers at General Electric’s Global Research development arm have done just the opposite. They transformed one of the company’s existing home security motion sensors into a device that’s smart enough to classify different types of motion, even to the point of wirelessly monitoring a person’s breathing and heart rate.
The upgrades to the motion detector mostly came in the form of sophisticated processing algorithms that allow the sensor’s ‘brain’ to better process a person’s movement. Possible applications for the improved motion sensors include monitoring patients or the elderly at home as well as neonatal infant health monitoring since premature babies often have skin that’s too fragile to physically attach sensors to.