Google Fit rolling out camera-based HR and breathing tracking to Pixels this week
(Pocket-lint) – Back in February, Google announced that it’s rolling out a new feature to Google Fit, allowing users to monitor their breathing and heart rate using the camera on the back of their phone.
That feature is rolling out to Pixel users from today, so at some point over the coming days and weeks you should notice the new tracking tools going live.
The heart rate monitoring works by lightly pressing your finger over the camera. The camera then monitors changes in colour in your fingertip to measure how the blood is flowing through it.
“While these measurements aren’t meant for medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions, we hope they can be useful for people using the Google Fit app to track and improve day-to-day wellness”, Google stated in the original blog post.
As for the breathing measurement, you point the camera at your head and chest, and it then measures the rise and fall of your chest using your front-facing camera.
As with most things Google does these days, the process and feature is all powered by its machine learning capabilities and the company claims it’s accurate to within 2 per cent.
While we’ll need to test it ourselves to find out if that claim is true, it’s pretty clever tech and – while similar to other camera based trackers launched in the past – it promises to be more reliable.
Perhaps the only downside currently is that it’s a feature limited to Pixel users to begin with. Keep an eye out for the app update in the coming days.
Writing by Cam Bunton.