Continuing its development of biometric tracking technology, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a new real-time pulse reader capable of detecting a person's heart rate simply by recording their face. Fujitsu's technology uses the camera in a computer, smartphone or tablet to detect subtle changes in the oxygen-carrying properties of the blood, which absorb green light.

The company says that it can detect a pulse rate in as little as five seconds; during this time, it can calculate average color values on a person's face, remove unnecessary light data and extract the brightness data from the green light that is absorbed by haemoglobin in the blood.

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With its new technology, Fujitsu plans to develop new ways for people to keep track and store health data for future analysis. However, the company has also said it will look into how real-time pulse detection could be used to secure a smartphone or tablet, putting it "into practical use in fiscal 2013." Apps like this already exist — on iOS for example — and it's unclear at this point whether Fujitsu's software will provide greater accuracy.