Button-size wireless sensor can tell if you're nervous

Alps Electric demonstrated a new sensor that uses radio waves to detect your pulse remotely or through walls

Alps Electric has developed a button-size motion sensor that can detect when your pulse quickens from across a room or through a wall, then sends the readings wirelessly to a server.

Its projected uses include mobile phones that can easily take a person's pulse, portable medical monitoring gadgets, or tiny motion detectors in a security setting.

The Tokyo-based component maker demonstrated the device at the Ceatec electronics show in Japan this week. It emits radio waves at high frequency and measures how they change as they bounce off objects, so it can detect even slight movements.

At Alps' booth, the company showed how the sensors could measure heart rate or breathing from a distance and through wooden panels or clothing, as well as measure the speed of approaching objects, demonstrated by having attendees punch a wall-mounted sensor.

The devices are similar to the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags used in wireless payment systems and passports. They can also encode data into radio signals and send them to remote receivers connected to servers.

Depending on the accuracy required, the devices can be attached to antennas and measure or exchange data at a distance of up to about 10 meters (33 feet).

The sensors do have a major caveat at this stage: they can't differentiate between objects or types of motion like breathing and dancing, so subjects must stand perfectly still for accurate measurements.

The company will begin producing enough of the chips to ship samples by spring 2012, with sales dictating production after that. It has not released a price.

The Ceatec show runs through Saturday in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsCEATECComponentsAlps Electric

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?