In recent years, the health functions of smartphones and smartwatches have greatly increased. Nowadays, people are using mobile phones and smartwatches as fitness trainers and sleep trackers. For example, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch Active 2 can perform ECG and blood pressure monitoring through the Samsung Health app.
Now, the South Korean tech giant seems to be introducing these powerful health features into its future foldable smartphones. According to LetsGoDigital, Samsung has obtained a patent designed for foldable smartphones with inward-folding displays.
As early as April 2020, Samsung applied for a new patent named “Foldable Electronic Device and Method for Estimating Biological Information Using the Electronic Device” in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) . The document was approved and published on March 25, 2021.
According to the images mentioned in the patent application, both flat-panel foldable phones and clamshell foldable phones can use this technology. In addition, two image sensors are built under the flexible screen at the bottom of the phone. By placing the index finger on one or two sensors, image data can be obtained.
Pixel intensity is converted to pulse wave amplitude, which can then collect information about your health through an amplitude conversion model. In order to obtain accurate data, the pressure exerted by the finger on the screen is also calculated.
Just place your finger on the first sensor, and the obtained data will be displayed on the flexible screen. If you put your finger on the two sensors, the data will be displayed on the cover display. If necessary, the user is required to move the finger and/or increase pressure at the same time.
The bio-information can include information on these health aspects:
- Blood pressure: Oscillometric method to measure pressure changes in the artery.
- Vascular age: The condition of your carotid artery. Can also provide information about your cholesterol level.
- Aortic pressure waveform: Ratio of sitting to supine position. Sitting for long periods can also negatively affect vascular health.
- Arterial stiffness: Or arterial vessel wall stiffness. Stiffening of the arteries causes the heart to pump harder.
- Vascular compliance: The degree to which an organ yields when force is applied.
- Stress index: To what extent do you suffer from physical or mental stress.
- Fatigue level: How fit you feel. This value can be related to your stress index.
In addition, the blog also pointed out that Samsung can also decide to place the sensor outside the device. The measurement can be made by resting the palm of the hand on the device.
As always, it is unclear whether Samsung will implement this feature through smartphones. At the same time, the company may launch Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 2/3 around July this year. In addition, the next Galaxy Fold may be the first foldable phone provided by Samsung with S Pen support.