Google Fit is doing something pretty cool with the camera on Pixel smartphones.
Starting next month, the app will let users measure their heart and respiratory rates with the phone’s camera. At first, this will only be available on Pixel devices, but it will eventually expand to support other Android smartphones.
To measure your respiratory rate, you’ll need to place your head and upper torso in view of your smartphone’s front-facing camera and breath normally. Then, in order to measure your heart rate, you’ll need to place your finger on the rear-facing shooter.
Google will let users choose to save the details in the app to monitor trends over time alongside other health and wellness information. Google says that these measurements don’t aim to replace actual medical diagnoses and that it’s just helpful information for Google Fit users to track their day-to-day wellness.
Google is able to measure this by using the camera to track physical signals at the pixel level. This includes measuring chest movements to detect your respiratory rate and the changes in your finger’s colour to measure your heart rate. Additionally, the company says that since it measures blood flow from colour, it accounts for factors such as lighting, skin tone, age and more.
The tech giant says that it developed both features and even completed clinical studies to validate them so that the technology works under real-world conditions and for as many people a possible.