Between Google Fit and Apple’s coming iOS 8 HealthKit feature, 2014 is definitely poised to be the year of the health and fitness monitor. But while Silicon Valley is pushing wearables, new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests the future of health monitoring may lie in wireless.
Recently, a team of scientists at MIT’s computer science Wireless Center developed a wireless system that can track your movement through walls, down to the rise and fall of your breathing chest. That information, they say, can then be used to calculate your pulse with 99 percent accuracy.
“It has traditionally been very difficult to capture such minute motions that occur at the rate of mere millimeters per second,” explains professor and director of MIT’s Wireless Center Dina Katabi. “Being able to do so with a low-cost, accessible technology opens up the possibilities for people to be able to track their vital signs on their own.”
Researchers suggest the technology could one day find use in hospitals as a way to track patients’ vitals without a mess of wires, or in home baby monitors to help combat SIDS. Being able to detect minute movements behind walls could also have wide benefits to law enforcement and the military.
You can learn more about MIT’s new wireless technology and research at the MIT News blog.