Tracking Health With Headphones

Valencell's new sensor technology, V-LINC, uses the ear's unique physiology to gather vital health and fitness data while the user is listening to music with standard ear buds.

EarbudsHealth-Post.jpg

We all know that the ear is a multifunctional, anatomical marvel. We often take for granted its ability to allow us to eavesdrop, to rock out to the latest beats, to hold up our spectacles, and to be pierced over and over again. Last week at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, Raleigh, North Carolina-based Valencell announced their sensor technology that uses the ear's unique physiology to gather vital health and fitness data.

The technology is called V-LINC, and it's being built into the ubiquitous set of earbuds that you probably use every day. According to Valencell, "V-LINC technology comprises the only earbud-based continuous heart rate monitoring technology proven accurate during virtually any exercise in virtually any physical environment or condition."

According to the V-LINC website, its earbud sensors are able to measure the following biometric data:

  • Heart rate
  • Respiration rate
  • Energy expenditure
  • Metabolic rate
  • Calories burned
  • Distance traveled
  • Steps taken
  • Speed
  • VO2max (cardiovascular fitness)
  • Ventilatory threshold
  • Recovery time

Valencell itself isn't actually manufacturing V-LINC earbuds. It's licensing the technology for other companies to integrate into and create a wide variety of fitness training and athletic performance coaching products and applications.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Health

Just In