Hitachi is working on a breathalyzer system that uses facial recognition to ensure a car’s driver is the one being tested for alcohol consumption.
The system is designed for use with a smartphone. A compact breath analysis device is attached to a given subject’s smartphone, and can then leverage the phone’s built-in camera to scan the user’s face while the device itself scans the individual’s breath for traces of alcohol. Thus, the user’s face is matched to the breath sample. The user then places the smartphone into a special holster in the car so that the camera faces the driver, and facial recognition is used again to ensure that the driver’s face matches that of the person who provided the breath sample.
It’s a bit of an elaborate process, but it also offers a clear means of leveraging the preponderance of smartphones to help fight drunk driving. Hitachi says it first started developing its miniaturized breathalyzer system last March, and is now preparing to test out the smartphone- and facial recognition-enhanced version of the system this August, when Hitachi Capital Auto Lease employees will conduct field tests.
Hitachi says its ultimate aim is to commercialize the system beyond the field tests scheduled for this summer.
June 13, 2017 – by Alex Perala