When it comes to measuring heart rate, usually the person getting measured will be required to wear some kind of attachment to their body. Whether it be more specialized equipment you find at hospitals, or a smartwatch that comes with a heart rate monitor, or a chest strap that athletes wear to measure performance, some kind of equipment has to be worn.
However it seems that maybe in the future that won’t be completely necessary. In a report from Nikkei (via CNET), it seems that the folks at Panasonic have developed camera technology that can apparently “read” your heart rate just by looking at you. This is thanks to software that monitors skin reflectance, which apparently lowers as more blood circulates through it, which in turn could be used as a means to detect heart rate.
We’ve seen this in countless TV shows and movies where through hi-tech goggles or eye implants, one can read a person’s heart rate to tell if they’re lying or not, and now it seems that that future isn’t too far away. There are plans to bring the technology to the market next year where it has been envisioned for use for sports TV, so in the future it is possible that we could see an athlete’s heart rate next to their scores.
Panasonic also sees this technology as being useful in the workplace where it can be used to monitor the stress levels of office workers, which we guess would be less invasive than forcing employees to wear fitness trackers. Note that Panasonic won’t be the first to try and glean heart rate information from a video as in the past, we have seen similar efforts by researchers at MIT.