Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems is releasing a Grid-EYE Infrared (IR) array sensor evaluation kit that combines its ”nanopower” PAN1740 Bluetooth Smart module and a microcontroller on one PCB. By combining its new IR sensor technology with Bluetooth technology and software for IR detection of people and objects on one board, designers can develop fast prototypes and build their own wireless sensor Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
“Grid-EYE is an infrared array sensor and the first ever 64 pixel IR camera in an all-in-one compact SMD package,” said Panasonic. Grid-EYE, built on Panasonic’s MEMS technology, combines the MEMS sensor chip, a digital ASIC (I2C interface) and a silicon lens. It has 64 thermopile elements in an 8x8 grid format that detect absolute surface temperature without any contact.
Unlike conventional sensors, Grid-EYE uses a patented 60° silicon lens etched out of a silicon wafer, which is (with less than 0.3-mm height) the smallest available lens in the market, according to the company. The combination of these technologies enabled Panasonic to reduce the sensor package size to 11.6 mm x 8 mm x 4.3 mm, which is around 70 percent smaller in size than competitor products, Panasonic said.
The Grid-EYE sensor can detect moving people and objects as well as the position and presence of motionless people and objects, the direction of movements and the accurate surface temperature from -20°C up to +100°C. With this wide range of temperature measurement Panasonic is able to reach a noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of +/- 0.5°C at room temperature.
Panasonic said the Grid-EYE sensor opens up new application opportunities, including energy savings in the lighting industry, domestic appliances (e.g. air conditioners, microwave ovens), safety and security systems (e.g. lifts, automatic doors, elevators, kiosks), and the medical industry (e.g. patient fall detection and patient positioning). Other examples include hot-spot detection, human detection inside vehicles for consumer comfort, and contactless temperature measurement in industrial applications.
Grid-EYE is able to detect people and differentiate them from other heat sources such as displays or heaters, said Panasonic, and as an infrared sensor, detection of people is measured almost independent of ambient light conditions.
The integrated Bluetooth module in the evaluation kit, PAN1740 (P/N ENW89846A1KF), is a single-mode Bluetooth Smart system-on-chip module optimized for low power (4.9 mA in transmit or receive) and small size (only 9.0 mm x 9.5 mm x 1.8 mm). The SMD component features a fully shielded case, chip antenna, and integrated crystal oscillators.
The low-power consumption enables the use of coin cell batteries and decreases battery requirements by up to 50 percent when compared to other BLE devices currently on the market, according to Panasonic.
Availability: The evaluation kit will be available in the fall.