Normally, you have to wear a band that squeezes your arm until it gets too tight and uncomfortable in order to to check your blood pressure. That might soon become history, because according to a new Samsung patent, their upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch can do the same thing without you feeling the slightest discomfort.
We already know that smartwatches and even fitness bands can do a lot of things apart from telling you time. They can measure your heart rate, count your steps (pedometer) and even tell you how many calories you've burnt, but measuring blood pressure isn't all that easy.
It requires your bloodstream to be stopped momentarily and then allowed to flow slowly. However, Samsung seems to have found out an easier way to test blood pressure using nothing more than just a Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
According to a report on Dutch technology site Techtastic, Samsung has patented a new smartwatch feature in its home country South Korea that could measure how fast blood is circulating in your body using a light sensor similar to the one used in heart rate sensors.
The WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) patent filing shows drawings of a watch called the Samsung Galaxy Gear X. (We have a feeling that Samsung could launch this alongside the Galaxy X smartphone.)
From the drawings in the patent, we can see that Samsung will use a light source and a light receiver to analyze the bloodstream of the user.
The way it works is it throws polarized light and senses the intensity of the scattered light. This is something similar to Sonar, but instead of sound, only light is utilized here.
The Galaxy Gear X will then display the blood pressure of the user on the screen/dial (whatever you prefer calling the display), based on the intensity of the scattered light.
From what it sounds like, you will still be required to wear the watch tight across your wrist, considering that even heart rate monitors require you to wear the smartwatch snugly in order to work.
The benefits are pretty obvious. For one, you can basically monitor your blood pressure all by yourself at any given time of the day without using any external device.
Source: Techtastic (in Dutch)