nirs-sensor-1[CEATEC 2015] Aren’t we all a conscious lot where our health and well being are concerned? Unfortunately, many people will only do something about their health when they are diagnosed with something unpleasant which might require a combination of therapy and treatment, or just one of the two. Well, with more and more wearable devices hitting the market lately, why not throw in a sensor that can help keep tabs on the basic details of our health – basically our heart beat and the amount of oxygen within our blood? ALPS has done just that with their wearable NIRS sensor – short for Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

The NIRS sensor is tiny – it measures just 15mm x 15mm x 5mm, making it small enough to be incorporated in many a different wearable device. It is an optical vital sign sensor that can calculate the different biological data parameters in one’s body, and the built-in algorithm itself can enable simultaneous calculation of hemoglobin levels, blood oxygen level and heart rate.

All the information collected was displayed on a smartphone or tablet in a simple and easy-to-understand user interface. It did not take too long for the NIRS to register one’s vital statistics – although it seemed to work best when placed on your palm. All data on daily lifestyle habits, exercise included, will be collected and can be managed over in a cloud environment for further interpretation, depending on the app that comes out afterwards. Pretty nifty, although we do hope to see the wonders of miniaturization do its magic in due time.

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