A smartphone that can take a pulse by viewing people’s faces debuted Monday.
Technology giant Fujitsu Ltd. plans to put the invention to practical use within a year, allowing people at work or at home to collect data for analysis without wearing special devices.
The smartphone works by measuring variations in facial coloring caused by blood flow.
Researchers say countless tiny blood vessels run through the face, enabling the monitoring of hemoglobin, which absorbs green light. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that contains iron and transports oxygen.
Simply pointing a camera at a face for as little as five seconds is sufficient to gauge a pulse, while the technology automatically filters out the effect of head movements or changes caused by standing up.
“Even at a busy workplace, or any time a person is sitting in front of a PC, whether for teleconferencing or writing emails, their pulse can be measured during brief moments of quiet,” it said in a press release.
“At home, a camera built into a TV can measure the pulse of people relaxing in front of it, or a mirror, for when people are getting ready in the morning,” it said.
“Pulse detectors built into gates at event sites or control points at airports could be a possible security application by detecting people in ill health and people acting suspiciously.”