Google Pixel phones can now track your heart rate by using your camera

Google Pixel camera now tracks heart and respiratory rate through Google Fit app

Google Pixel 5
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Google has added a brilliant new feature to "supported" Google Pixel models through the Google Fit app. 

The feature will give Google Pixel users the ability to track their heart rate and respiration, disposing of the need to be consistently sporting a delectable wearable from our best smartwatch or best fitness tracker list.

There's no mention of what specific Google Pixel devices this includes, but more recent models like the Google Pixel 4 and the Google Pixel 5 could be expected to get it.

At the moment, there's no concrete information on whether earlier models like the Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL, and Google Pixel 3 will similarly get the feature. 

Google Pixel

(Image credit: Google)

Using your Google Pixel phone, you can now measure your heart rate by gently placing a finger on the rear camera, which then discerns small color changes as the blood moves through the fingertip to determine the rate.

It aligns with increasing consumer interest in technology solutions to everyday health concerns; Apple is reportedly set to include non-invasive blood glucose monitoring in the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7, which would add further versatility to its Apple Watch-powered health tracking suite. You can check out our best Apple Watch guide to work out which model is perfect for you.

With the new tracking feature, you can also use your Google Pixel to determine your respiratory rate using the front-facing camera. By positioning your head and torso so they are both within the camera's frame, the clever feature then monitors the rising and falling motion of your chest, before inferring your breaths per minute. 

We're not sure how that would translate across to something like the potential Google Pixel Fold that is rumored to be Google's first foray into the foldable phone sector.

If Google’s internal studies are to be believed, the respiratory rate feature is accurate to within one breath per minute, covering people who have health conditions and for those without. The features, specifically tested on a variety of skin tones and breathing states, were reportedly accurate to within 2%, according to Google.

Although it's a feature that's unlikely to be found on our best cheap phones guide, it'd be great to see this feature on a host of non-Google Pixel devices, such as those from our best Android phones list. This would likely come in the form of an expansion update after Google has properly mapped out the feature's uptake. 

If you own a Google Pixel phone, you can test out the feature from today. Stay tuned for more updates and to keep abreast of any updates dropping for the Google Fit app on the Google Play Store.

Source: Tom's Guide

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.