A new patent filed by Samsung has revealed that the company is investigating the use of laser speckle interferometric technology to monitor health through its smartphone and wearable products.
The patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in September 2015.
As described by the company, the laser speckle interferometric method involves directing a laser onto a person’s wrist – the laser beam is shone onto the skin and a speckle pattern formed by scattering of coherent light is detected by the detector and then recorded.
Pulsation in arteries causes skin movement that affects the detected speckle pattern, it said in the filed document. A high enough signal-to-noise ratio is necessary to detect a pulse and remove the influence of vibration caused by a displacement between the mobile device and the skin.
Although it is not yet known whether or not this technique would be more effective than the sensors currently in Samsung’s devices, it is possible that the technology could be employed in Samsung’s future flagship phones, tablets and even Gear smartwatches and other wearable devices.
It would mean that consumer devices would be capable of monitoring vital health stats like heart rate, blood flow velocity, pulse rate, blood pressure, and skin conditions.