March 18, 2013 -
Researchers at Fujitsu have developed software that measures pulse with a smartphone’s camera.
Reported in Computer World, the technology is based on the brightness of an individual’s face and the changes that occur based on heart beat and subsequent blood flow.
According to the article, “hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body, absorbs green light, so analyzing the change in color of parts of the face reveals their heart rate […] As most image sensors capture pixel information in red, blue and green, they have the ability to detect hemoglobin built in.”
According to the company, the system can take a person’s pulse in five seconds. In an interview with Computer World, a company spokesperson said Fujitsu is still undecided whether it will release the software only on Fujitsu devices or will open the technology to other manufacturers.
It has been widely acknowledged that the next round of smartphones will incorporate biometrics, as the accessibility and portability of these technologies is now at a point to support mass adoption. In a recent Biometric Research Note, the research group estimates that “U.S. consumers will use smartphones and tablet computers to make retail purchases of approximately US$35 billion this year, compared with US$20 billion in 2012.”
In addition, smartphone cameras are increasingly being relied on for uses other than snapping photos. According to a separate Biometric Research Note, the newest smartphone from Samsung will have an eye-tracking feature that will allow its users to scroll down a page without have to tough the screen. The Biometrics Research Group anticipates that technologies that track eye and gesture movements will play a large role in future mobile applications and devices.