Google is ramping up the battle in the fitness and wellness market with breath and heart rate detection technology that will soon be integrated into Android smartphones,
The system relies on the mobile’s front camera for measuring respiratory rate by detecting chest movements.
For the heart rate, it will be necessary to place a finger on the lens of the rear camera so that the application analyzes the changes in skin color with the fingertip.
These occur when blood flows from the heart to the rest of the body.
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These features will be integrated into the Google Fit app starting next month. They will first be available on Pixel smartphones, then more widely on other Android mobiles in the coming months.
Make these biometric tools accessible to as many people as possible
Although these two biometric functions are widely used on connected watches and activity bracelets, Google explains that it wants to make these tools available without additional equipment.
“ It turns out that relatively few people in the United States, let alone the world, own wearable, ” said Jack Po, product manager for Google Health. “
So one of the things we really focused on was trying to integrate these technologies into the most ubiquitous piece of equipment which of course is the cell phone .”
However, Google has invested heavily in wearable technologies with the acquisition of Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion, which has just obtained the approval of the European competition authorities.
Regulators were concerned that the biometrics of Fitbit users would bolster Google’s lead in ad targeting.
Google has undertaken not to use this data for such purposes. A spokesperson for the company also assured Google will not use respiratory rate and heart rate data for advertising either.
The California giant says it has tested the features with people of different backgrounds, health conditions, and skin colors.
The results will be shared in the coming weeks through a scientific publication.
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