Samsung seems to be working on some interesting technology lately, with plans to reportedly produce a competitor to Microsoft’s HoloLens, and today it was discovered that Samsung has been awarded a patent which allows users to measure their body fat with their phone. Given Samsung’s interest in helping users be at their healthiest utilizing things like the fairly comprehensive S-Health app as well as the collection of sensors in their most current devices, measuring body fat was just one more thing which helps to extend that capability of being on top of one’s health and fitness related data.
With the advancements in biometrics, companies like Samsung have been able to give users the means to use their devices to check things like heart rate and blood oxygen levels, as well as fingerprint sensors which can read our fingerprints for use of unlocking devices or making mobile payments. Measuring body fat is still something which remains completely void from mobile devices, but with Samsung’s research and development into this new tech, that may not be the case with newer Samsung devices. Based on some of the images found in the patent documents, it looks as though the device itself may not be able to measure the body fat, but would instead work in tandem with a flip cover case similar to the S-View covers Samsung makes now, except these new cases would hold the sensors.
Samsung’s patent describes the sensors as being “in/on or near” the device, which means they could be looking into ways of embedding the sensors into the device itself. This would seem like it would be the most ideal, but if that didn’t work there’s the “near” option that was part of their description which would be embedding the sensors into a case or cover as shown in the diagrams below. Either way would bring the capability to future Samsung devices, assuming Samsung is able to get things working correctly. However it would be implemented, the user would hold the device with both hands to grip it securely which would likely provide the ample amount of skin contact to the sensors to provide an accurate reading for the body fat percentages. This might seem like a gimmick to some, but for anyone who likes to stay on top of their health, there are already plenty of options out there for devices which can read and measure your body fat and feed the data back to you. Some of these options can be quite expensive though, and it’s just one more piece of equipment to have to keep on you. If Samsung is able to integrate this function into a phone or phone case, it could end up costing consumers less, while also giving them less to carry.