The Ford Motor Company has teamed up with Intel, to create a facial recognition system that also can recognize hand gestures, which can activate devices such as the sun roof. Gone will be the need to fumble around for various knobs and buttons. This new technology is referred to as Project Mobii-which stands for Mobile Interior Imaging. Project Mobii is designed to maximize the driving experience, as well as to enhance driving safety.
How it Works: The owner of the vehicle is instantly identified and authenticated by the front-facing camera. The motorist’s personal settings are uploaded, and the center console displays the driver’s schedule for the day-including directions for the first appointment. If Project Mobii does not recognize the driver, then a photo of the current user is sent to the owner’s smartphone. The owner can use the Mobii app to either authenticate and provide permission to the current user, or reject the demand. The system can enable or disable different user preferences so as to ensure privacy. Thus personal features or preferences are blocked from view. The console displays info specific to the owner or anyone else authenticated to drive the car. Meetings, contacts, and directions are all personalized. A convenient lock icon will block personal info from being seen by a second or third party. The owner using his/her Intel phone with the Mobii app can enable or disable any features for the secondary driver. Any personal info is thereby conveniently removed.
At the time of writing, Mobii is still in the research phase. The aim of the research is to determine how the motorist interacts with the technology in the car, and how that interaction can become more user-friendly and intuitive. The insight gained will help Ford improve on the overall driving experience. Already Ford has engaged exterior cameras warning the driver as to their parking dexterity or if the car is drifting out of a lane. This technology also allows the absent-minded shopper, to verify from a distance, if any object such as keys, or the all-important laptop, were forgotten on the back seat of the car. How convenient and practical!
There are detractors who fear that this technology may be invasive and smacks of Big Brother intrusion. Ford and Intel remind the public that facial recognition systems already exist in schools, malls, hotels, airports, high-end retail outlets, as well as other public spaces. The ultimate purpose is to make the driving experience more user-friendly and more secure. Customer data will be closely guarded. Ultimately, this technology, while literally ‘in your face’, will save lives as it screens you as you watch the road. It will eliminate the need for you to take your hands off the wheel. It will be able to recognize drowsiness or distraction and warn you to stop and take a break.
http://bcove.me/9b7iz4xq Tim Plowman, Architect at Intel Labs.
For additional information, please contact Consumers’ Choice Award winners, Ricart Ford, http://ricartfordauto.com/ — Bob Tomes Ford http://bobtomesford.com/