Google’s Pixel phones are getting a boost in the health department, with their Google Fit apps to receive the ability to measure user heart rates via their cameras.
In a blog post, Google said that the functionality will be made available starting from March. Aside from heart rate measuring, the Pixel phones will also be able to measure respiratory rates.
Heart rate measurement is done by placing a finger on the rear camera lens, with the algorithm using fingertip colour changes to approximate blood flow. For respiratory rate measurement, it involves breathing normally while your head and upper torso are in view of the front camera.
“While these measurements aren’t meant for medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions, we hope they can be useful for people using the Google Fit app to track and improve day-to-day wellness,” said Google. “Once the measurements are made, you can choose to save them in the app to monitor trends over time, alongside other health and wellness information.”
Google says that there are plans to expand the feature to more Android devices, although it’s unknown how soon that will happen.