Today, you can measure heart rate simply by strapping on a fitness band. Tomorrow, will a new Apple Watch do much more?
Deep within the Apple Watch is a “plethysmograph” a semiconductor that uses light to sense the rate of blood flow. While Apple Watch measures only heart rates today, semiconductors like this can also measure blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, respiratory rates, and body temperature. Apple will activate these functions in the next generation watch expected March 2016, some say.
Devices like Apple Watch and fitness trackers demonstrate how semiconductor-based bio-inspired sensing is promoting better health.
Wearable tech is targeting diabetes, sleep disorders, obesity and cardiovascular disease. But that will require further advances in semiconductors — integrating advanced sensing with signal conditioning, low power MCUs for implementing algorithms, wireless communications, power management and energy harvesting from the user’s body.