The smartphone market has kind of plateaued in the past few years. And many tech companies have been trying to find the next growth area in tech. Many think its VR, or wearables, and well, according to research over the past few years, it actually appears to be fitness trackers. IDC is expecting about 240.1 million fitness tracking wearables to be shipped by 2021. So it's a pretty big category. But MediaTek is looking to bring the features of a fitness wearable into your smartphone, and that's why it is announcing Sensio.
Sensio is a new Biosensor solution from MediaTek. It will live inside your smartphone, and there will be three areas on your smartphone you'll need to touch to get an accurate reading. You'll need to touch the back with one finger, the right side with another and then the lower right side with a finger on the opposite hand. The reason why you need to use both hands is so that the sensor can get create a loop and get to your heart faster and measure your heart rate. Sensio can measure three different things, heart rate, heart rate-variability, blood pressure trends, SpO2, PPG and ECG. And this is all done in less than 60 seconds, which is actually rather impressive. MediaTek will have an app that can track all of this data and have it accessible to the user, it'll also be stored in the cloud.
Now the actual chip, which is the MT 6381 is actually really small. And it also leverages the smallest ECG electro-nodes currently available. So it's not going to take up a ton of space in your smartphone, nor will it cause your smartphone to get hot and use a ton of battery. MediaTek is currently sampling the MT 6381 Sensio chip right now and will begin distributing it to its partners in early 2018. It expects to see devices using the Sensio chip in the first half of 2018. However, MediaTek was quiet on what partners will be actually using the chip right now. That is actually pretty normal when semiconductor companies like MediaTek, Qualcomm and others announce new chips, they allow their partners to make their announcements, instead of stealing their thunder. So be on the lookout for some new announcements regarding MediaTek's Sensio chip in the coming months.