There’s no shortage of wearable fitness tracking devices which can monitor steps, distance traveled, elevation, heart rate, sleep quality, and other stats. But there’s always room for improvement, so Samsung has introduced what it’s calling the “first all-in-one health solution chip.”
The Samsung Bio-Processor is a single chip with an integrated microntroller, power management circuit, digital signal processor, eFlash memory, and five analog front ends for working with sensors to monitor your vital stats.
The chip can work in hardware that measure heart rate, skin temperature, body fat, skeletal muscle mass, and other physical responses thanks to:
- biolecetrical impedance analysis
- skin temperature
- galvanic skin response
None of those features is exactly ground-breaking, but the Bio-Processor is one of the first single-chip solutions to integrate support all of them in one place. This could theoretically reduce the size and cost of wearable fitness trackers.
That said, I’ve been wearing a Withings Pulse activity tracker on my belt for the past two years. I originally opted for this model because it offered long battery life, step counting, elevation tracking, and a heart rate monitor. But honestly, the only stat I pay attention to these days is the step count. It provides me a good excuse to stay active every day of the week and allows me to set and meet goals. All the other stats are kind of meaningless (and the heart rate sensor is finnicky and not particularly accurate).
Maybe you need skin temperature or heart rate stats to help keep you motivated. But I know I probably could have saved some money by purchasing a model with fewer features… and if my Withings Pulse ever dies, that’s probably what I’ll do.
Still, I suppose it’s nice to have extra options.
Samsung says its new Bio-Processor will be used for new fitness and health devices expected to ship in the first half of 2016.