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Philips Vital Signs Camera app measures heart rate using iPad 2 camera

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The Philips Vital Signs app tracks your heart and breathing rate using the iPad 2's camera.

ipad 2 vital signs camera
ipad 2 vital signs camera

Sure, FaceTime and Skype are great, but what you really want to do with that iPad 2 front-facing camera is look at yourself, and then generate numbers about your body. That's the promise of Philips' new Vital Signs Camera app, which claims to measure small variations in the color of your face and movement of your shoulders to track your heart and respiratory rate, and then (of course) lets you share the data via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

It's a clever trick for 99 cents, although it's not exactly accurate — I just tried it out and even small movements wildly affected the results, and when I tried to hold still it consistently under-measured my heart rate in the 40s instead of the high 60s. I can only assume my Twitter followers are beside themselves with worry.