An increasing number of amusement applications now use user biometric data, applications ranging from fitness software that works on a game console to games using user brain waves. Biometric information will find even more uses if mobile phones, game console controllers, and headphones can be fitted with devices that can obtain biometric signals unnoticed by the user. To realize this vision, Murata Manufacturing has developed a small, low-profile vital sign sensor (dimensions: 15.0 x 4.8 x 1.3 mm) , which makes it possible to integrate biometric measuring functions into various equipment units.
The Murata vital sign sensor exploits the optical absorption characteristic of hemoglobin in the blood to make optical measurements of parameters such as pulse and blood oxygen levels. At the same time, it uses two electrodes to measure electric potential changes generated by heart activity (electrocardiography or ECG) . Unlike sports heart rate meters that simply measure heartbeat, it can also estimate user fatigue levels and exercise stress. This is why the scope of application is expected to dramatically expand, allowing customers in various industries to use these estimates to develop new services.
The design brief for the vital sign sensor was to enable every user to obtain reliable biometric measurements anywhere. Murata developed an algorithm to extract useful biometric signals alone by canceling various noise signals generated in the body. A microcomputer that runs this measuring algorithm is integrated into the vital sign sensor. In addition, it is combined with an optimized structure to create a model that allows users to directly experience the potential of this innovative sensor. Murata is now improving the sensor to ensure that it can make reliable measurements in situations where traditional measuring equipment cannot be used – for example, out of doors and during exercise.
Vital sign sensor and integration in equipment (simplified)
Applications of the vital sign sensor