My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to measure heart rate with cameras using Panasonic's Contacts Vital Sensing software

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

How to measure heart rate with cameras using Panasonic's Contacts Vital Sensing software

Folks, it may soon be possible to estimate you heartbeat from any camera, even a webcam.

At a private show in Tokyo, Panasonic demonstrated their Contacts Vital Sensing software that can estimate heart rate as reported in the article “Video cameras could soon determine your heart rate from across the room”, published February 24, 2017 By Hillary Grigonis, DigitalTrends.

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Panasonic’s software could be available commercially as early as 2018. Panasonic’s is aiming their Contacts Vital Sensing software at sports broadcasting by estimating an athlete’s heart rate using any camera.

A more practical use may be to prevent people who work at nights like truck drivers from falling asleep by monitoring their heart rate. Once it detects that their heart rate is falling, it can sound an alarm to awaken the driver.

So how does Panasonic's Contacts Vital Sensing software work?

Panasonic's Contacts Vital Sensing software - How to visually measure heart rate

The program analyzes the change in the way the skin reflects light. Blood absorbs light, with the reflected light changed with heart rate.

Panasonic isn’t the only company doing this; Startup Oxehealth announced in late 2016 a similar algorithm that can measure heart rate from a video using “microblushes”. These “microblushes” are subtle skin and is already shown to be just as accurate as standard medical equipment in clinical studies done thus far.

Panasonic isn’t the only company doing this; Startup Oxehealth announced in late 2016 a similar algorithm that can measure heart rate from a video using “microblushes”. These “microblushes” are subtle skin and is already shown to be just as accurate as standard medical equipment in clinical studies done thus far.

Effectively this is a lot like a fitness tracker, but does need to be wrapped tight around your wrist to read your heart rate. Panasonic Contacts Vital Sensing software may not be very accurate, but it has the advantage of measuring heart rate using any visible skin, i.e. your face.

Panasonics product could potentially compete with GoPro’s collaboration with Polar fitness trackers and the Garmin VIRB’s sensor based heart tracking, as it can do heart rate monitoring without the need to be coupled with a fitness tracker.


I'd love to use this in a skype conversation, as it would help me to tell if the people I talk to are lying to me or just plain bored. I love Panasonic’s Contacts Vital Sensing software, as its potential usages can benefit mankind, possibly measuring other vital signs.
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