New Display for Your HeartPosted: August 15, 2011
New Health-Monitoring Mirror Displays Heart Rate
Stuart Fox, InnovationNewsDaily Assistant Editor
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the lowest resting heart rate of them all?
OK, so it may not be enough to provoke revenge plots against Snow White, but that doesn’t mean the Cardiocam mirror isn’t useful in its own way. The reflective device, which debuted here at the SIGGRAPH interactive technology conference, measures and displays the heart rate of whoever gazes into its shiny surface, allowing users to review some of their health metrics during their regular morning hygiene routine.
The Cardiocam mirror, designed by students at the MIT Media Lab, uses a webcam to record the minute changes in skin tone that occur as facial capillaries fill and empty with the beating of a heart. A computer analyzes the facial color change, and then displays the user’s heart rate on the mirror. Over time, the mirror establishes a baseline resting heart rate, allowing the user to monitor changes in their cardiac health over time.