Google Fit now tracks beats and breaths directly from smartphones (on Pixels)
Google had announced it at the beginning of February, and has kept its promise: the smartphones of the Pixel family in fact have recently begun to receive an update for Google Fit that introduces two new, interesting functions. In fact, the app is already set up to record the measurement of vital parameters such as heart rate if used in combination with wearables such as smart band and smartwatch, but from now on it will be able to do it independently, thus using only the smartphone. And not only that: it will also be able to track your breath rate.
Like? Simple, using the cameras: the rear one for heart rate, and the front one for breathing. In the first case, the user will only have to place his finger on the main sensor: everything else will be done by the algorithm.
Thanks to the photoplethysmography technique, in fact, the app will be able to record the slight changes in the color of the fingers to make an estimate of the heart rate. The algorithm developed by Google to offer greater accuracy also takes into account various variables such as the age of the subject, skin tone, and lighting.
The procedure for measuring the respiratory rate, on the other hand, resembles a sort of long selfie: Google Fit recommends placing the smartphone on a stable surface to be able to frame easily using the front camera. The app also recommends getting rid of those elements that could compromise the accuracy of the test such as masks, hats, and anything that covers the face. In fact, the algorithm, in this case, will analyze the data obtained by observing the user’s face and the movement of the chest to produce the final result.
The functions, as mentioned at the beginning, are currently being rolled out as an exclusive of the Google Pixel family: the hope is that in the future the availability can also be extended to other Android devices.