When it comes to making advancements in product technology, a company usually will concentrate on something that is unique but what the public wants. One area that seems to have public interest in has to do with the healthcare sector and devices that can measure certain vitals in real time. Microsoft appears to be paying attention to this as recent news reports the company has filed a patent application for eyeglasses that can track the wearer’s blood pressure.
The Battle for Groundbreaking Technology
Writer Bernie Monegain from Healthcare IT News reported on Monday that Microsoft is looking to replace the traditional cuff device for eyeglasses that can gauge the user’s blood pressure. The patent the company filed is for is an eyeglass monitor called Glabella; apparently, the device is designed to be more accurate and easier to use than the average inflatable cuff.
Microsoft’s recent patent for the eyeglass monitoring joins the battleground for groundbreaking technology as rivals Google, Apple, Amazon and Samsung have all filed many patents where the consumer will be the one that ultimately benefits. Previously, Google had filed a patent for eyeglasses that was said not to monitor blood pressure but one’s heart rate.
Glabella Prototype Tracks Blood Pressure’s Ups and Downs Continuously
The Glabella prototype was developed by Microsoft software engineers Edward Wang and Christian Holz as the device is said to track the user’s blood pressure’s ups and downs on a continuous basis. Wang and Holz wrote on Microsoft’s website that our glasses prototype incorporates optical sensors, processing, storage, and communication components, all integrated into the frame to passively collect physiological data about the user without the need for any interaction.
Also, the two noted that the Glabella can continuously record the stream of reflected light intensities from the flow of blood and inertial measurements from the head of the user. From the temporal differences in pulse events across the sensors, our prototype derives the wearer’s pulse transit time on a beat-to-beat basis.
According to Microsoft, there is potential for the sensor to serve as an acceptable-socially capture product as it would require no behavior changes or user input during normal activities; yet, it still can collect data that can be utilized by patients and physicians. Since the data can be collected during usual activities, people would most likely be more comfortable wearing eyeglasses outside than walking around with a wrist cuff that the readings would not be accurate.
However, according to the patent information that depicts where the appropriate sensors are fitted on the device, it makes me wonder how the finished product would look like. After all, anyone who is fashion conscious might think twice about wearing them out in public if the device would make the user stand out in a bad way.
Meanwhile, the clock has started and all we can do is wait to see which of these emerging technologies, if any, will arrive in the marketplace and which vendor will be the first to succeed.