The Sensors are Coming!

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 launches next week, but some sly engineers at Chipworx have already dissected one to find the first dedicated heart monitor to be embedded in a handset. (Apple patented a sophisticated heart rate sensor late last year, but Samsung beat them to market.) A number of apps use the phone’s camera to take a pulse, but a chip-based solution like Samsung and Apple will pave the way for more seamless integration.

What’s so fascinating about a heart rate monitor embedded in a smartphone? It’s just one of a growing number of single-purpose sensors that are taking up residence in our phones, stretching their capabilities to collect and interpret data from the world around them (and us).

Galaxy S5 dissected by Chipworx

The innards of the Galaxy S5 looks like a satellite view of a cramped metropolis.

I’m most excited to see how computer vision and depth sensing chips, like those in Google’s Project Tango, will help us navigate our world with a little more precision and confidence. And we’ll get to take our pulse along the way.

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