Kyocera's headphones want to help track your health from within the ear

This prototype sensor can detect dehydration and blood pressure
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Japanese manufacturer Kyocera is aiming to advance the hearable space, unveiling prototype headphones that can act as a fitness tracker, as well as play music.

Kyocera has developed an optical sensor for earphones that measures the blood flow in hypodermal tissues, providing biometric data that can be analysed. Currently, it's able to keep tabs on nerve and blood pressure, possible signs of heat stroke and levels of dehydration.

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While the ability to capture this kind of biometric data from the ear is an area that's continuing to grow, the size of the sensor could help set Kyocera apart in this field. It measures just 3.2 x 1.6 x 0.9mm, while still remaining reliable and highly sensitive, according to the company.

This size opens up the possibility for the sensor to be housed inside earphones, an area which, as we explored earlier this week, is arguably the best for measuring heart rate and harvesting other biometric data.

And though Kyocera is aiming to commercialise the sensor in 2018 or 2019, it's also looking to expand when the sensor is used. For example, its ability to play music and track data simultaneously would lend itself to being used when exercising, but the company is also suggesting the sensor could be used to track sleep more accurately and gauge mention tension.

For now, though, this is only a working prototype. And while hearables will continue to expand what data can be tracked and when, whether this will lead to them replacing more practical wrist-based trackers remains to be seen.

Via: Nikkei

Kyocera's headphones want to help track your health from within the ear

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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