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Ford Adding Biometric Health Monitoring to Cars–And How Long Before the Cars Are Driving Themselves (Video)

Posted May 20 2011 11:28am

We all know about the biometric monitoring on devices and on your computer, but now the next territory seems to be moving to the car.  We already have blue tooth connected cars for cell phones, which is a good thing but again how much more do we want to add on is the question.  Granted there’s a lot of technology that is a imagegood thing but when you get into the car do you want all of this?  I guess time will tell how consumers will react.  If it comes standard someday I hope there are options to turn off or turn on.  Will the “chip implant” find its way back here too? 

How dependent do we want to be with technology?  Last year Nike filed for a patent that will tie our shoes for us, I know a bit out there at times.  So your car becomes a “health monitoring” center and we can’t tie our our shoes anymore:)

Speaking for myself even when using handsfree as I always do in the car I sometimes even miss off ramps when the conversation gets quite entailed and I am having to really think on questions being posed, and right there to me that kind of says a lot for the types of conversations I am having as well.  I do ok with image conversations that are just that, but if I am driving and someone wants me to get very technical, to where I have to tap in to some extreme knowledge, that can distract me.  I like my music when I drive and a small bit of handsfree conversation is ok but my car is the place to where I can escape some of the alerts and other areas of technology.  Again, there’s the privacy question as to where does this information go and who sees it and is there the standard disclaimer to sign to allow the technology to work?  Stanford has an update too on the autonomous car and a video from Smart Planet shows what’s going on with that end of car technologies.  You can search around here and find several past articles about “Junior” the Stanford car that was developed for the DARPA challenge a few years ago with servers in the trunk. 

Are we combining technologies just because we can?  Granted there will be some good come out of all of this and it may not stick to the “proof of concept” we see but rather parts of it will stay and other parts may go elsewhere.  That happens all the time with technology today.  At the same time the government is considering cell phone jammers in cars too, so who knows exactly where all of this will go.  The article states there’s a pollen report and frankly some days when in a hurry to get to my next appointment, I may not have time and nor will I care to see the daily stats, so again preferences enter into the picture here as well. So what’s next, dialysis in the car while one drives:)   Perhaps once the cars are driving themselves we may have time for the other added technologies:)  BD

DETROIT — Within the next couple years, your car will notice if you have low blood sugar and tell you to have a snack; check local pollen counts and roll up your windows to prevent an allergy attack; and at lunch time, give you directions to the nearest healthy-eating establishment, pausing your iPod to broadcast the restaurant’s menu.

Ford executives said they are not planning to have car apps that monitor blood alcohol, however, which seems like an obvious health and safety solution, especially when the company pointed to prevention of crashes involving hypoglycemic patients. The focus is on chronic disease monitoring and general wellness, Ford says. image

Ford showed off some prototypes at a press briefing Wednesday. Press a button, say the word “allergy,” and the Sync allergy app advises you about environmental irritants in your zip code, which can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. The system uses the car’s GPS system, local weather info and pollen data. In Dearborn, Mich., on a drizzly Wednesday, birch and maple pollen was the predominant problem.

Another app, developed with the health monitoring company Medtronic, would connect to wireless-enabled glucose monitors used by diabetics. The driver would use voice commands to access his or her blood sugar records, which are stored in the cloud, and the car could ask questions to ensure that the driver’s blood sugar is not too low — such as, “did you eat breakfast yet today?” If the data suggests the driver is at risk of losing concentration or fainting due to low blood sugar, the car would recommend a snack, explained Dave Melcher, a Ford research engineer. The system is meant to help diabetics monitor their illness, but also to prevent accidents.

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