LG Innotek, the components-making affiliate of LG Group, has come out with an ultra-thin sensor module for monitoring heart rate, blood oxygen, and stress levels.
The heart rate monitoring module packs a photodiode, LEDs, and its integrated circuit into a slim 1mm module, and according to the company utilises embedding technology from the PCB industry to reduce the size of the sensor module.
The module is also 30 percent more powerful, making accurate detection of biometric signals easier, and 20 percent more energy efficient compared with similar modules, the company said.
For example, its new heart rate monitoring sensor improves the accuracy of health tracking wearables to ±5bpm (beats per minute) during exercise from ±8 in current devices. So, if the user's heart rate is 120bpm, the heart rate measured by the wearable device would give a reading of between 115bpm to 125bpm, as opposed to one from 112bpm to 128bpm.
"At the heart of the Internet of Things are the sensors that enable the sharing of information. We are developing these high-tech sensors for use in automobiles, consumer electronics, and wearable devices to lead the IoT industry," said Kim Chang-hwan, senior vice president and head of the Components and Materials R&D Centre.
LG Innotek is the world's largest manufacturer of camera modules, specialising in components for the mobile, automotive, and semiconductor industries.
The key to wearable technology is reducing the size of a device and increasing power efficiency. No matter how good a feature is, if a wearable device is bulky and the battery wears out rapidly, it will never become popular. We're likely to see developments like this one as the wearables market heats up even more.