Microsoft May Soon Be Able to Measure Players' Heart Rates Using Eye-Tracking Cameras
Microsoft continues to explore new technology that doesn't directly relate to its core business but could add value to consumers. A recent patent suggests Microsoft is interested in making innovations related to heart rate monitoring.
Microsoft is best known for its computer software, and for manufacturing entertainment hardware such as the Xbox Series X. While few gifts can generate the same excitement (and the same accelerated heart rate) as an Xbox Series X as a Christmas gift, that sort of activity isn't really what the company hopes to monitor with a device that may result from the new invention.
According to a patent filed in April 2022, Microsoft believes it may be able to detect heart rates using eye-tracking cameras. The patent references a "head-mounted device" that includes an eye-tracking camera, which would work with a "machine-learned AI model to analyze the series of images to extract a photoplethysmography waveform." Photoplethysmography's appeal is that it offers "a simple and low-cost optical technique that can be used to detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed of tissue."
Besides monitoring head motion of the person wearing it, the camera would "emit infrared light at the one or more areas of skin around the one or more eyes of the wearer." The patent also references potential use of an accelerometer, a gyroscop, or a magnetometer. The device would be able to filter out "noisy" data to cancel it out of a data set, presumably generating more accurate, useful results by the AI. Over time, the device would apply calibration relating to individual users to "improve the machine-learned AI model.