New Rockley Photonics sensor could power AR glasses and smart clothing

Next-gen health tracking could expand beyond smartwatches
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Rockley Photonics has updated its forthcoming spectrophotometer sensor – and the company says it could target AR glasses and smart clothing.

Instead of using optical sensors with LEDs, Rockley's sensors use lasers to "see" into the skin, and get a clearer, less noisy signal.

According to Rockley, the new chip is denser than its previous innovations, thanks to it being the first to be developed via micro-transfer printing (mTP). In layman's terms, this means a more powerful laser, in a smaller space.

That could make sure more accurate sensors, but most interestingly, it could mean Rockley's sensor tech leaving the wrist, and popping up in other types of wearable devices.

And according to CEO Andrew Rickman, it could be cheaper too.

"By creating biosensing chips that are smaller, lower-cost, and more efficient, we can continually improve our wearable biosensing products and deliver novel, relevant, and more powerful ways to monitor our health," he said.

Andrew spoke at our Wareable event back in June 2022 and explained the potential of Rockley's technology. You can watch that below.

As we discussed with Rockley's CEO Adam Rickman earlier this year, the commercial photonics sensors being worked on here are seen as the natural successor to the current standard - optical monitoring - which uses an array of green and red LEDs to measure tissue changes caused by blood circulation.

Rockley says this next-gen chip won't have any impact on the current crop of wearables being developed by its customers - which allegedly include an unnamed six of the top 10 consumer wearable vendors.

However, mTP technology could be available in early 2024.

That means health metrics such as blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, and glucose levels could soon be accessed via more than just health smartwatches.

TAGGED Wearables

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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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