With a view to replacing one-dimensional sensors and providing more accurate results, Microsoft has filed a patent for multi-dimensional optical sensors designed for smart bracelets. Developed by the company’s engineers, this latest innovation would offer a more exact reading of the wearer’s heart rate.
Photo credits: Microsoft patent/Microsoft
Microsoft is working on new technology that will improve the accuracy of portable devices that measure the wearer’s heart rate. The US giant filed a patent for sensors in January 2018 with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Made public on 18 July, the document describes the innovations envisaged by Microsoft’s engineers while also pointing out the drawbacks with current wearable heart rate monitors.
Positioning of the sensor
Despite the failure of the Microsoft Band, the company has kept a close eye on the industry and has identified areas for improvement, as reported by the website MSPowerUser. These include the positioning of the optical sensor, which determines how accurately the heart rate is measured. Ideally, the small infrared emitter illuminates the user’s artery, with the heart rate being indicated by the variations in blood flow that it detects.
According to Microsoft, however, there is no guarantee that the sensor can be positioned properly, owing to the “one-dimensional nature” of the equipment, which is likely to misread the data obtained by the system. It is for this reason that the tech giant has come up with an alternative.
Its solution involves using another type of optical sensor, similar to those fitted in cameras. The small multi-dimensional device would be linked up to a light system illuminating arteries and veins. Thanks to the differences in the way in which blood and other organic matter absorb light, Microsoft’s procedure only analyse blood flows without external interference. A central circuit then receives the data and analyses it.
The sensor developed by Microsoft has yet to be fitted in any device. In time it could improve the performance of smart bracelets and smartphones, products that Microsoft has stopped manufacturing.
Contact Allianz Partners
Sep 3, 2018
“Glabella” is the name of the new device created by Microsoft to measure blood pressure. Looking like a normal pair of glasses, this prototype is said to be more reliable and easier [...]
Aug 22, 2019
Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are taking a real interest in the health forecasting device PREDIGMA, developed by the French startup Chronolife. A smart T-shirt equipped with ten s [...]
May 2, 2019
A recent study led by a Californian medical school showed how the Apple Watch can be used to correctly identify an irregular heart rate. Just under 400,000 people took part in this expe [...]