By: Pune Pulse
October 30, 2023
Pune: Google researchers recently demonstrated how ANC headphones can track the wearer’s heart rate without the need for additional hardware.
In a paper titled ‘APG: Audioplethysmography for cardiac monitoring with hearable devices’ presented at Mobicom 2023, the researchers introduced a novel in-ear health sensing modality that allows ANC headphones to monitor physiological signals, including heart rate, without the use of extra sensors.
The study also highlights that APG does not impact battery life, is unaffected by seal conditions, works with all skin tones, and is resistant to motion artefacts.
The process involves emitting a low-intensity ultrasound wave through the ANC headphone speakers and capturing information from the received wave using the built-in microphones. According to Google, the ‘APG signal is a pulse-like waveform that synchronizes with the heartbeat and provides detailed cardiac information, such as dicrotic notches.’
The investigation spanned 8 months and involved 153 participants, revealing that APG surpasses the current light-based photoplethysmograms (PPG) and electrocardiograms (ECG) sensors in terms of weight, cost, and power consumption.
According to Google, a straightforward software update can enable APG to convert any headphones with ANC into a heart rate sensor. This technology seamlessly operates without complications while users are engaged in various activities such as listening to music or exercising.