Smartphone that Measures User's Pulse by Scanning their Face

First Posted: Mar 18, 2013 09:01 AM EDT

A new technology has been developed by Japanese electronics giant Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd, which measures the person's pulse in real time with the help of a built-in camera or webcam in a PC, smartphone or tablet.

By measuring the variations in the brightness of the person's face that is assumed due to the flow of blood, the technology detects the person's pulse. It is based on the characteristic of hemoglobin that attracts green light.

There is no hardware used in this technology, just the camera that points at the user's face for five seconds and measures the pulse rate.

The technology begins to work by shooting a video of the user and calculates the average values for the different color components such as red, green or blue in a particular region of the face for each frame. After that, it expels the unrelated signal data existing in all three color components and removes the brightness waveform from the green component. The pulse rate is then calculated based on the peaks in that brightness waveform. 

This latest technology has a lot of potential use, including health monitoring, maintenance, as well as security applications. The company plans to commercialize the technology within the next 12 months.

"Even at a busy workplace, or any time a person is sitting in front of a PC, whether for teleconferencing or writing e-mails, their pulse can be measured during brief moments of quiet. 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. 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," reports AFP.

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