Google is introducing heart rate and respiratory rate monitoring to its Google Fit app as part of its latest feature drop. These features will initially only be available to select Pixel phones.
With these features, users will be able to track their heart and respiratory rate through their phone without requiring specialized hardware. Both features are designed to work using just the cameras front and back.
The heart rate monitoring works by placing your finger on the back camera. This technique has been using other apps for a while now and it’s a cost effective way to check for heart rate. As for respiratory rate, you have to position yourself in front of the front camera so your face and torso is in view. The camera tracks your chest movements to track your breathing.
Google is quick to point out that these features are not for medical purposes, which makes sense. At no point should you rely on your phone’s cameras to track your hear rate or breathing if you suffer from any health issues but it’s fine for casual use.
Google said these features will be rolling out to Pixel devices this week (the exact devices weren’t specified). Other Android phones will be getting the update at a later date.