Google just figured out how to give any earbuds the ability to measure your heart rate


When it comes to wearables that can monitor our heart rate, smartwatches and fitness bands are probably some of the most common options out there. But there are some earbuds that have that ability as well, although they aren’t quite as common.

The downside is that due to them not being so common, users will need to decide if measuring their heart rate is more important or sound quality, but in the future that may no longer be necessary, thanks to the efforts of Google’s scientists.

In a study published by Google’s researchers, it appears that the company has figured out a way to measure the heart rate of the user through off-the-shelf ANC earbuds. This is done through a method called Audioplethysmography (APG) by sending low intensity ultrasound signals, and receiving those signals back through the earbuds’ built-in microphones.

It turns out our blood vessels in our ear canals change in accordance with our heart beat, so by using ultrasound, it measures those changes to determine the wearer’s heart rate.

What’s amazing is the fact that Google used off-the-shelf earbuds, meaning that apart from the requirement that these earbuds need to have ANC, in theory any earbuds could gain this feature through a software update. Of course, whether or not headphone makers will do that remains to be seen, since it is more lucrative to just build a new product and sell that to consumers who want that feature.

Source: 9to5Google

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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