Saturday, July 11, 2020

Do toilet papers have a heartbeat? Fitness trackers say yes

Oct 10. 2018
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By The Star
Asia News Network

You may want to reconsider how you feel about the toilet paper after reading this story.

Recently, a number of users on Chinese social media platform Weibo discovered that their wearable fitness trackers can be used to detect the heartbeat of everyday items like toilet paper. 

In a series of images, users who strapped their fitness trackers around a roll of toilet paper got readings like 71bpm (beats per minute) while a user with an Apple Watch got a reading of 69bpm.


One user tried it on a glass bottle and got a reading of 88bpm. A can of soft drink registered a reading of 97bpm.

Website Abacus posted a video on Oct 9 showing that the fitness tracker can also detect heartbeat in objects like a mug and even a banana. 

Now before you go saving all the bananas from being eaten and toilet papers from being used, the Abacus site also provides an explanation.

Fitness trackers beam green light on the skin and then use the reflection to measure heart rate – the faster the heart beats, the faster the blood flows so more green light will be absorbed. 

As objects can reflect light, it confuses the sensor as it’s designed to detect a pulse even when there isn’t one. So what you get is just a false reading. Phew.


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