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Who needs a smartwatch? This tech uses your selfie camera to track your health

The big question is whether we'll see this solution on commercial phones in 2024.
By
November 29, 2023
TL;DR
  • Japanese company NEC has revealed the ability to track your well-being via your selfie camera.
  • The solution apparently analyzes your face and pupils to track various metrics.
  • This isn’t the only solution that claims to offer health insights via a phone’s selfie camera.

We’ve seen plenty of smartphones capable of measuring your vitals in some way. Samsung’s older Galaxy phones offered a dedicated heart-rate sensor, while some Android phones can measure your heart rate via the in-display fingerprint sensor or rear camera.

Now, Japanese corporation NEC has recently announced the ability to track your well-being via your phone’s selfie camera. The company’s so-called Face & Facial Parts Monitoring System is purportedly able to detect early signs of “abnormality” by analyzing your facial patterns and pupil conditions with the selfie camera.

“By analyzing the minute eye movements caused by involuntary eye muscle contractions, it is possible to more accurately estimate the state of an individual’s body and mind,” NEC claims on its website.

The company adds that it’s able to accurately track your respiration and SpO2 rates. The firm also says it can measure your “press rate,” although we’re guessing this is a translation issue and they mean “pulse rate.” Either way, the solution will tell you whether your measurements are “normal” or “abnormal.”

This all sounds like science fiction, and you definitely shouldn’t hold your breath for an imminent release. NEC claims that the solution will be launched in the 2024 fiscal year “or later.” In fact, the company also noted that this tech is still in the R&D stage, suggesting that there’s no guarantee of a commercial launch. We hope that the company seeks regulatory certification for this technology, though, as that would go a long way to assuring users that it’s not a gimmick.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a company touting the ability to analyze your health metrics via a selfie camera in 2023. Back at MWC 2023, Canadian firm Nuralogix showcased smartphone tech that spat out pages of health metrics and your risk factors for various ailments. The solution, which requires just 30 seconds of selfie camera video, has been submitted to the FDA for regulatory approval.