I am the mother of your children. Whither can I fly, since all Greece hates the barbarian? - Euripides, Microsoft Medea Center
FUJITSU LABORATORIES announced on Monday that it has developed technology that will enable smartphone and tablet users check their pulse using their devices' built-in cameras.
The futuristic technology works by reading the brightness of a users face, which changes depending on blood flow, apparently. This colour is read using the built-in camera on a smartphone, tablet, TV or PC, and can also be read using an external webcam.
According to Fujitsu, it can read a users' pulse in as little as five seconds, a short space of time during which it can calculate average color values, remove unnecessary light data and extract brightness data.
Fujitsu probably explains it better than we can. A spokesperson for the company said, "Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that detects a person's pulse by measuring variations in the brightness of the person's face thought to be caused by the flow of blood."
They continued, "It is based on the characteristic of hemoglobin in blood, which absorbs green light. It requires no special hardware and can measure pulse rate simply by pointing a camera at a person's face for as little as five seconds.
"It also automatically chooses moments when the person's body and face are relatively still to minimize the effects of irrelevant data on measurements. This technology has a wide range of potential uses, including health monitoring and maintenance as well as security applications."
It's still not entirely clear what Fujitsu plans to do with this technology, but the firm has said that it will put it to practical use at some point this year.
"This technology has a wide range of potential uses, including health monitoring and maintenance as well as security applications," it said.
Taking selfies apparently will get a lot more interesting. µ