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Samsung Patent Suggests Future Smartphones Could Measure Your Body Fat

13 July 2015, 10:48 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Tech Times
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Samsung has filed an intriguing new patent, suggesting that its future smartphones might be able to measure body fat. This would mark a notable first and could be huge for health and fitness apps.  ( Patentscope )

Samsung's next generation of smartphones may be able to measure one's body fat level, if a new patent is any indication.

While some high-end smartphones, as well as various wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness bands/ bracelets have a number of sensors to collect biometric data, none of them can measure body fat. Current devices can track your heart rate, exercise, calories burned, even track your sleep, but body fat has not been on the list of options so far.

That may well change with future smartphones from Samsung, as an intriguing patent from the company has now come to light. As spotted by VentureBeat, Samsung has a new patent that describes a method of measuring body fat with the help of a smartphone. More specifically, the patent indicates that this method may use four sensors in or near a smartphone. In the second variant, the sensors could be packed onto a smartphone case screen cover.

These four sensors in or near a smartphone would work together to measure the user's impedance performance, based on the contact with one's hands. The patent contains several drawings to better illustrate the concept, and the images show a person holding the phone with both hands. This suggests that holding just one hand on the phone may not be able to provide an accurate reading, as both hands may be necessary for a good grip of all four sensors.

"Acquiring the object's impedance information on the basis of the intensity of the input current and the intensity of the measured voltage; and acquiring the object's body fat information on the basis of the impedance information," reads the description in the patent, explaining the technology involved.

No additional information is available for now, and it remains unclear just when Samsung plans to include such technology in its smartphones. If it all works out and future smartphones will be able to measure body fat, it could be a huge step for health and fitness apps. Samsung should offer more details as it gets closer to actually offering such functionality, but for now the patent is quite intriguing.

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