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Embedded Vision And Fitness: Assessing The Potential For Health Distress

Back in late July, I wrote about Azumio's Instant Heart Rate, an application which uses an Apple iOS- or Google Android-based mobile device's built-in camera and flash illumination subsystems to assess pulse rate in an impressively accurate manner. Yesterday, I learned about a conceptually similar app from Philips called Vital Signs Camera, although the implementation is different in this case. Check out the above video.

Vital Signs Camera employs the front-mounted camera in an iPad 2 tablet to tackle two tasks:

  • Estimating pulse rate by noting periodic facial color changes, and
  • Estimating respiration rate by noting the rising and falling of the user's chest

And reflective of the modern era's tendency to share (overshare, IMHO) any and all personal information with one and all, you can pass along the results to others via the app's built-in support for email, Facebook and Twitter.

Alas, I can't try the app out for myself, because I "only" own a camera-less first-generation iPad (although if my boss sees this and wants to upgrade me, I'll happily accept the offer!). However, it's only $0.99, an inexpensive experiment for those of you who are appropriately hardware-equipped. And the user comments both on Apple's iTunes Store and at other online venues who picked up the news are impressively positive. For more coverage, see: