NTT DoCoMo Inc. has prototyped and presented a "wellness mobile phone" that can measure body fat ratio, pulse, breath odor, how far the user has walked and so on at CEATEC Japan 2007.
This was a joint development with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and the company assumes that it will be commercialized in the future, although it has not determined a marketing schedule yet. The company's booth was filled with many visitors who came to try the prototype.
Pulse measurement using infrared rays
Based on a mobile phone embedded with a touch panel type LCD, sensors to measure various types of biometric information have been incorporated into the unit. For the measurement of body fat, for example, the handset starts measuring when the user turns the handset on its side and holds the electrodes on both sides with his or her hands after entering basic data such as height and weight.
The pulse sensor is located on the upper area of the handset and starts measurement when the user presses a specific part with his or her finger. The infrared-based sensor measures the pulse using infrared absorption of the hemoglobin in blood, DoCoMo said. For the measurement of breath odor, a gas sensor set at the bottom of the handset has been used.
The pedometer can sense whether a user is walking, running or climbing up or down stairs. Reflecting such situations, the mobile phone calculates the user's energy consumption more accurately, the company said.
NTT DoCoMo is considering commercializing a service where its servers monitor the data measured with the wellness mobile phone and transmitted via public networks. Along with an application that monitors and shows the user's health data in chronological order, the company believes the mobile phone will be used in combination with dietary control services and applications related to fitness management, mental healthcare and the like.
At CEATEC, DoCoMo uploaded data measured with the wellness mobile phone to the server every 10 minutes and displayed it as health monitoring data using an i-appli.