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Panasonic's new camera tech can read your heart rate

The Japanese company is working on camera software that can even work on webcams.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The last few years have seen wearables that monitor your heart rate blow up. Panasonic thinks it can do one better, working on camera tech that reads your heart rate just by looking at you.

It's called Contactless Vital Sensing and its software is capable of reading your heart rate without having to use special camera equipment, reports Nikkei Technology. The software works by monitoring skin reflectance, which lowers as more blood circulates through the skin.

Contactless Vital Sensing was shown at Wonder Japan Solutions earlier this month, according to the publication, where Panasonic demonstrated it on a person's face. However, as the software only needs to look at a patch of skin, any part of the body will do. It'll work on almost any camera, including webcams.

The company hopes to take the tech to market next year, primarily for sports TV -- seeing player heart rates next to their scores may not be far off. Panasonic is also considering using the same technology to monitor the stress levels of office workers, Nikkei reports.

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