LG Innotek sensor to tackle heart rate tracking accuracy

Super slim bio sensor should also lead to more power efficient wearables
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LG Innotek, a components manufacturer that builds camera modules for smartphones, has revealed that it's developed a sensor that could make wearables slimmer, more efficient and improve the accuracy of optical heart rate monitoring.

The bio sensor measures in at just 1mm thick and is designed to record heart rate, blood oxygen and stress levels. According to Innotek, the module can increase the strength of biometric signals by 30% and reduce power consumption by 20%. That means it can track data using less power.

Essential reading: How to track your resting heart rate

What's really interesting here is that LG Innotek claims that the new module can improve the heart rate error rate range to 5bpm when you're working out and 2bpm for resting heart rate. That is apparently comparable to what medical devices can offer.

We've had our say about the accuracy of heart rate tracking from wearables and have spoken to the experts about what they think about the current state of optical sensors. So this is a positive move.

Samsung has also been trying to address some of the biggest issues with wearables having recently announced its own Smart Bio-processor. The all-in-one chip is more power efficient than current processors and is able to measure heart rate, body fat, skeletal muscle mass, skin temperature, heart rhythm and stress level. Similarly, Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon Wear processor that promises to extend smartwatch battery life and hopefully lead to sleeker designs.

LG Innotek also has plans to integrate the skinny sensors into cars as well, but this is definitely good news for wearables. The improvements under the hood should lead to slimmer smartwatches and fitness trackers with better battery life and more reliable data. Now who doesn't want that?

LG Innotek sensor to tackle heart rate tracking accuracy

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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