Google has introduced a new Fit app feature on its latest Pixel smartphones to enable users to measure their respiratory and heart rates. The application will have to be given access to the inbuilt cameras on devices since it needs phone cameras to take the measurements. It will measure a person’s breathing rate per minute using the front camera and the other camera will be used to check the heart rate, the Verge reports.
To check respiratory rates, the California-based company said users will only need to ensure that their devices are fixed in a place and pointing directly at the upper part of a person’s head starting from their chest area. As soon as this is done, the app directs users to a live user interface that shows a full-screen display of the person taking the test. The app reminds users to breathe and stay still while it tries to measure how fast they breathe each minute.
The result of the respiratory test is displayed on another screen. On that same screen, users will be graded weekly on achieving milestone respiratory rates over the course of a week. Users can also start a new respiratory test on the screen by clicking the plus sign on the app’s home screen. Google said the tech works by checking and analyzing the tiny changes that register in the chest area when a person breathes.
For the other new feature of the application, users will be required to place their fingers on the back cameras of their devices. The company said users will need to apply just a very light pressure on the camera lens and turn on the camera’s flash when in poorly lighted rooms. Google said the tests will only take about 30 seconds each, but users are urged to rest a little after exerting themselves before they take the tests.
The measurements of both respiratory and heart rates can be done without being connected to the internet. The company explained that the heart rate is measured through the detection of any form of change that occurs in the hue on fingers. The changes are used to measure the rate of blood flow. Google explained that the tests are only to be used for information and should in no way take the place of medical tests, diagnoses, and treatments.
The company said it will make the new feature available on its Pixel devices first before it can be accessed from other devices. From March, Pixel users that download the app will be able to check the number of breaths they take and how fast their hearts go, using their smartphones.