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Panasonic kit aids IoT application prototyping

Steve Rogerson
March 2, 2017

Panasonic has introduced an evaluation kit for fast prototyping of IoT applications.
Following the 2015 launch of an evaluation kit using the first generation of Grid-Eye sensor, the Japanese company has now launched a second generation kit with two major updates: an improved sensor and improved software.
A further addition combines the nanopower Pan1740 Bluetooth Smart module and a microcontroller on one PCB.
“The launch of our new Grid-Eye evaluation kit enables our customers to develop new and exciting applications,” said Mubeen Abbas, product marketing manager at Panasonic. “We have improved our PC software and are working further to launch people detection, counting and tracking software into the market very soon. We also have an iOS smartphone app which customers can download for free to test the basic sensor functionality. We are focussed on enabling our customers to effortlessly and rapidly test our sensor in different ways for various applications. This paves the way for designers to use our new Grid-Eye sensor for their new and existing designs and speed-up their product development.”
The kit is based on the AMG8834 Grid-Eye sensor and benefits from an improved NETD (noise equivalent temperature difference) of 0.16ËšC at 10Hz and 0.05ËšC at 1Hz. The detection distance for the sensor has improved from 5 to 7m.
With these features, the sensor opens the door to a variety of new applications, ranging from energy savings in the lighting industry, domestic appliances such as air conditioners and microwave ovens, safety and security systems such as lifts, automatic doors, elevators and kiosks, and the medical industry for patient fall detection and patient positioning. Further examples include hot-spot detection, human detection inside vehicles for consumer comfort and contactless temperature measurement in industrial applications.
The sensor can also detect people and effectively differentiate them from other heat sources such as displays or heaters. Moreover, as Grid-Eye is an infra-red sensor, detection of people is measured almost independent of ambient light conditions. Another advantage is that its use does not intrude on personal privacy, unlike cameras.