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The world's first smartphone-based micro-thermometer is here

Things are heating up...

Published onNovember 24, 2017

It’s not hard to find reports on how smartphones are bad for your health, if they’re not being accused of contributing toward mental health issues, they’re contributing to fatalities in careless driving incidences. Less common are stories on how they could be good for you, but a new report out of Korea has one piece good news on that score.

A South Korean tech company known as CrucialTec has reportedly developed the world’s first “micro-sized thermometer sensor module” for smartphones. This, according to The Korea Herald, is able to measure a person’s body temperature in just 0.5 seconds using a connected application.

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The module makes use of an integrated-microelectromechanical system, or i-MEMS, and is said to be able to measure the temperature of humans or objects (presumably animals too) between -40 and 200 degrees Celsius. Of course, the sensor is also implemented in such a way that the smartphone’s natural temperature doesn’t interfere with the measurements taken.

What’s possibly most interesting, however, is that it’s based on a touchless technology — users don’t actually need to come into contact the sensor to measure their temperature. This could help lower the risk of infection and widen the number of possible applications (compared to more traditional thermometers).

The Korea Herald report doesn’t mention when we might see such technology implemented into smartphones: this is only the first sensor of its kind and it may take some years before we start to see it in a commercial settings — if that ever even happens. But biometric monitoring has been an increasingly prevalent part of the smartphone and wearable industry in recent years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it made its way to an upcoming flagship phone.

What are your thoughts on the potential of a smartphone-based thermometer? Let us know in the comments.

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