Google has developed technology that turns any headphones with an active noise reduction system into heart rate sensors. The technology is called APG (Audioplethysmography) or “audio plethysmograph”.
The idea is to send a low-amplitude ultrasonic signal using the headphone emitters, and then receive the reflected signal back through the built-in microphones. The received signal is then converted into heart rate indicators using a special mathematical model.
The company conducted research on the technology on 153 volunteers and received excellent results – the median deviation of the indicators did not exceed 3.21%. The technology works even while listening to music and jogging. Google is currently conducting research to test the accuracy of the method when measuring heart rate during severe physical activity.