Amazon has won permission to monitor your sleep using radar

An Amazon Alexa Device
An Amazon Echo.

  • The FCC gave Amazon permission to make a device that can remotely monitor people’s sleep.
  • The device will use radar to track a person’s sleep, per Amazon’s FCC filing.
  • Insider reported in January that Amazon was working on a sleep-apnea device.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon has won permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make a device that can monitor people’s sleep using radar, Bloomberg first reported.

The FCC approval document, published Friday, said Amazon’s description of its proposed device included “Radar Sensors to enable touchless control of device features and functions.”

It also said the device would be stationary, and Amazon “plans to use the radar’s capability of capturing motion in a three-dimensional space to enable contactless sleep tracing functionalities.”

Amazon filed for the FCC’s permission to develop its device in June, and said radar would help it monitor sleep “with a higher degree of resolution and location precision than would otherwise be achievable.”

“The use of Radar Sensors in sleep tracking could improve awareness and management of sleep hygiene, which in turn could produce significant health benefits for many Americans,” Amazon said in its June filing.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment on exactly what kind of a device it’s making.

Insider’s Eugene Kim reported in January this year that Amazon was building an Alexa-enabled device for monitoring sleep apnea, internally codenamed “Brahms.” Amazon did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider on whether its FCC permission was linked to Brahms.

Read more: Amazon’s Prime Air drone-delivery team is in upheaval as launch delays, ‘expat’ execs, and a 20% turnover rate roil one of Amazon’s loftiest projects

This wouldn’t be the first health-monitoring device Amazon has released. In August 2020 it released the “Amazon Halo,” a wearable fitness-monitoring watch that claims to accurately judge the wearer’s emotional state from their voice, as well as calculating body fat.

The company has also developed biometric tech for its physical stores. Some Whole Foods outlets – Whole Foods is owned by Amazon – allow shoppers to pay by scanning their palms.

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Tesla will now monitor drivers via in-car cameras to make sure they’re paying attention when Autopilot is on

EM   Photo by Christophe Gateau:picture alliance via Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • Tesla cars will now monitor drivers who use Autopilot via in-car cameras.
  • The cameras, above the rearview mirror, will check that drivers are paying attention while using Autopilot.
  • Previously, Tesla used sensors in the steering wheel to check drivers were paying attention.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla cars will now monitor drivers who use Autopilot through in-car cameras, TechCrunch reports.

Tesla will activate the cameras, located above the rearview mirror, in Model 3 and Y cars to check that drivers are paying attention to the road while using Autopilot driver assist, it said in a message to drivers.

Until now, Tesla cars relied on steering-wheel sensors that detected whether drivers were holding on, but many drivers have shared their tricks to fool the sensors and go hands-free.

“The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged. Camera data does not leave the car itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled,” Tesla said in a release note to its drivers, which was shared by one Tesla owner on Twitter.

Another Twitter user shared a photo of the same update for their vehicle.

Last year, Tesla activated its cabin-facing cameras installed in its Model 3 and Y vehicles in a software update. The camera, if approved by the driver, would “help engineers develop safety features and enhancements in the future,” Tesla said in its release notes at the time.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously rejected using cameras and infrared sensors to track drivers’ eye movements, saying that eye-tracking functions were ineffective.

Tesla has faced criticism over the safety of its self-driving features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened at least 27 investigations into Tesla car crashes, and Autopilot was involved in at least three fatal crashes since 2016, Reuters reported.

Tesla did not immediately respond for comment.

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Tesla is scrapping radar sensors and turning to cameras to power Autopilot in Model 3 and Model Y cars

esla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.

  • Tesla will remove radar sensors for Autopilot in some vehicles from now, it said.
  • Model 3 and Model Y cars delivered from May would use only cameras to power driver-assist features.
  • Tesla said some features, such as Autosteer, may be “temporarily limited or inactive” in the transition.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it was scrapping radar for its driver-assist features, including Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, and would use cameras instead.

Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in North America from this month would come with cameras to make Autopilot work. These cameras would help Autopilot keep the vehicle in lane and maintain space to other nearby cars, Tesla said.

During the transition, customers may find some Tesla features “temporarily limited or inactive,” it said. Autosteer – the automatic steering that keeps Teslas in their lane – will only work up to 75 mph, it said.

The company also said Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance “may be disabled at delivery.” These features will be restored shortly via over-the-air software updates, according to Tesla.

Tesla is using Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for the transition to cameras because they’re the company’s most popular models.

“Transitioning them to Tesla Vision first allows us to analyze a large volume of real-world data in a short amount of time, which ultimately speeds up the roll-out of features based on Tesla Vision,” the electric vehicle maker said.

Model S, Model X, and all vehicles built for markets outside of North America will still be equipped with radar, Tesla said.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted on March 12 that the company was planning to adopt “pure vision – not even using radar.” In April, the company wrote in its quarterly update that “a vision-only system is ultimately all that is needed for full autonomy.”

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China is working hard on its ‘F-22 killer’ and other radars to better track US stealth aircraft

China military radar
Military radars on display at the 9th World Radar Expo in Nanjing in China’s Jiangsu Province, April 23, 2021.

  • Improvements to Chinese radar systems are being highlighted at an industry expo in Nanjing.
  • Developments are coming as many countries boost their defenses with drones and stealth aircraft.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China has put the spotlight on its advanced radars, highlighting improvements in its ability to track US stealth aircraft at an industry expo, according to state media.

The hardware on display at the three-day World Radar Expo in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing included the long-range SLC-7, JY-26 and LC-8E systems, state-run Global Times reported on Friday.

Each of these systems can identify and track stealth aircraft, which are designed to avoid detection and carry out precision strikes against key military assets.

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator and a former People’s Liberation Army instructor, said China was putting more attention on radars as China seeks to improve its ability to identify enemy targets amid various military threats.

“China is developing even more advanced systems such as metric wave, quantum and laser radars to further improve Chinese military’s tracking capabilities,” Song said.

He said China aimed to integrate radar systems throughout the country in a single early-warning network.

The expo, which ends on Saturday, showcases both military and civilian equipment for aerospace, aviation, shipping and detection.

China’s quest to have more advanced anti-stealth radars came as countries around the world are researching and buying stealth fighters or drones to boost their defences.

The SLC-7, developed by the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology, is a long-range surveillance radar that can detect and track multiple targets at the same time, withstand saturation attacks, adapt to jamming, and rapidly identify targets, according to the Global Times.

The JY-26 is called the “F-22 killer” and can also identify and track other stealth objects like the B-2 bomber and F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The YLC-8E can detect and track aircraft more than 500km (310 miles) away as well as missile threats out to ranges of over 700 km.

The Global Times reported that the three systems were only a small portion of China’s anti-stealth radar family.

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