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A Device That Can Tell If Drivers Are Alert



From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

High-tech companies are developing the next generation of products that will help us drive cars, do our shopping and even care for our children. The technology company Intel recently held a demonstration of some of its new devices in San Francisco.
One device measured how alert a driver was. Sensors connected to the driver's head measured brain activity. Cameras placed on the car's dashboard measured eye movement.

Justin Rattner works at Intel Labs. He says the devices measure how much of the brain is occupied while the person is driving. Devices like these, he says, will make driving safer. Another experimental Intel technology links cars electronically to help prevent crashes. When the driver of the car in front signals a turn or slows down, an alert message is sent to the car in back. There was also a demonstration of a virtual computer. The computer was projected onto the table from a controller hidden in a flower pot. Sensors read the movements of the users' hands, so there was no need for a mouse or other handheld device.

This technology could be used in everyday situations. At a market, sensors and computer chips placed in products could help shoppers find the items they want to buy. For example, the technology could help them avoid foods that could cause an allergic reaction. Cameras and sensors are already available to help parents watch their children. In the future, other equipment will monitor a baby's health and mood. And security systems are being improved and simplified, with face-recognition software instead of complicated passwords.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.