Is your body temperature looking hot? Soon you’ll be able to find out!

click to enlargeIn a Pointer to the Future, Sony has filed a US patent application describing a way to associate vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse rate or body temperature with your photographs.

The idea is to record your vital signs as you take a photo or make a recording on a smartphone (or other portable gadget such as a PDA or tablet). Readings would be gathered from strategically placed sensors within the casing of the device and could be recorded continuously or at intervals.

The sensor information would then be assigned to a tag (such as “general fitness tag”) and stored alongside the image, with the tag and/or sensor readings used to organize and sort the images.

Other types of sensors such as a GPS locator, ambient temperature sensor, or light detector, could also be integrated. In this way the tag could be a result of internal biological data combined with external factors such as current position.

As regards healthcare applications, the technology could serve as a non-threatening way for healthcare professionals and clinicians to obtain vital signs readings from patients, either in person or remotely. It could be a useful addition to face-to-face or online psychotherapy consultations, and for assessing the urgency of emergency ambulance calls.

As this filing is currently at the application stage, no patent has (yet!) been granted to Sony. The idea does however open up some interesting possibilities, not only in healthcare and for Quantified Selfers, but also in areas such as security and gaming. Also reported in Engadget.

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