Ears to Your Health: Google’s Soundwave-Powered Heart Rate Earbuds

Google has unveiled its research on audioplethysmography (APG) technology that enables heart rate sensing in active noise-canceling headphones and earbuds through a software upgrade. APG uses ultrasound signals sent through the ear canal to detect heart rate and heart rate variability, even when music is playing and earbud seals are not perfect.

Google conducted studies with 153 participants, showing consistently accurate measurements. Unlike traditional sensors, APG doesn’t depend on skin tones and ear canal size. It offers a cost-effective and non-intrusive way to add health sensing capabilities to headphones and earbuds, making it a promising innovation. However, its implementation in Google’s products like Pixel Buds is not confirmed.