There are several devices out there that can track your fitness. Smartphones, smartwatches and fitness bands can measure your heart rate, calories burnt and other biometric data but no fitness device measures your body fat yet. Samsung has found a novel way to use sensors in a smartphone to measure body fat.

Samsung has been granted a patent for a method to measure body fat by using 4 sensors that are embedded in the phone or near the phone such as the phone case cover as can be seen in the figure below:

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When the user grips the smartphone with his hands as shown in the image below, these four sensors work in tandem to measure the impedance information resulting from their contact with user’s hands on the basis of which the person’s body fat information is calculated.

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The technology is explained by the patent thus:

“Disclosed is a method for measuring body fat using a mobile device, the method comprising the steps of:

Inputting a predetermined intensity of current to an object through a first electrode, which is included in the mobile device, and which contacts a first surface of the object, and a second electrode, which is included in the mobile device, and which contacts a second surface of the object;

Measuring the voltage between third and fourth electrodes included in the mobile device;

Acquiring the object’s impedance information on the basis of the intensity of the input current and the intensity of the measured voltage;

And acquiring the object’s body fat information on the basis of the impedance information.”

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The application was initially filed by Samsung on 14 March 2014 and the patent publication date is 9 July 2015. The invention is attributed to four scientists from Korea. If this technology works, it would be very useful for people as they would be able to measure their body fat easily.

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