Plessey Semiconductor have released a version of their EPIC sensor (PS25203) for automotive applications. This has a higher input impedance and lower gain which means it can be used for health monitoring in close proximity to to the driver by mounting electrodes in the rear of the seat. EPIC measures changes in the electric potential in the air which is distorted by other electric fields or objects and can detect the heart rate of a human without actually making direct contact with them. The sensor can also detect respiration and/or just presence (to check for occupancy of seats). The EPIC sensor is already in production for measuring ECG for ambulance use and also for remote detection of people. The new chip has had the digital signal processor addicted to work within the automotive environment. The detection of ECG and respiration in cars can be used to detect driver consciousness (i.e. to see if they are getting drowsy). The sensor will be launched at Chicago Sensor Expo 2012 will cost around $1-2 in volume and comes in a 4 pin PCB hybrid package measuring 10.5mm x 10.5mm x 3.45mm.