Google reveals an “art” wristband that measures biological responses
It’s not exactly the Pixel Watch we’ve been waiting for but Google has created a wristband with heart and skin sensors for a temporary art installation.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The wearable (pictured above) was revealed at the the design conference Salone del Mobile Milano (April 9-April 14), where Google is running “A Space for Being” exhibition. It’s display was created together with Muuto Design, Reddymade Architecture, and John Hopkins University’s International Arts + Mind Lab.
Google is showcasing three very different spaces all furnished to look like rooms in a home. The company is exploring how aesthetic experience directly affects the brain. i.e. how art and design effect our physical health and mental wellbeing.
To quantify the effect visitors of the display are given a one-piece wristband. This measures their physiological responses and how they respond to each room. As they are about to leave, guests are given a printout of their data describing where they felt most comfortable.
“Each space features a distinct look, feel, scent and sound, complete with unique textures, colors and design elements,” Google writes on its blog.
“As attendees walk through the spaces, they’ll wear a specially-made wristband that measures biological responses such as heart activity, breathing rate, skin temperature, skin conductivity and motion. At the end, before each guest’s data is deleted, they’ll see a visual representation of their response to each room and receive a customized readout that suggests which space made them feel most ‘at ease.'”
Just like a normal fitness tracker or smartwatch, the sensors are located on the underside of the wearable in contact with the skin. This includes a PPG sensor for measuring heart rate and breathing, an EDA sensor to measure skin conductivity and a sensor to measure skin temperature. There is no display and charging is done via a dock that integrates power and storage.
Google is obviously flirting with wearable technology. It might be a long shot, but we are hoping that this is a test run of the sensors that will make their way to the rumoured Pixel Watch.
Many expect the Wear OS device will finally see the light of day later this year. Adding credence to the rumours was Google’s acquisition to rights of Fossil smartwatch tech in January, clues spotted by code watchers and new job postings. If there is a launch this year, the company’s Pixel event in October seems like the most likely candidate.
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