Launch of a new smartphone app utilizing Asahi Kasei’s non-contact
pulse wave detection technology to measure pulse rate from facial video

March 19, 2015
Asahi Kasei Corporation

Asahi Kasei Corp. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Toshio Asano; hereinafter referred as “Asahi Kasei”) has provided its non-contact pulse wave detection technology to Dentsu Inc. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; hereinafter referred as “Dentsu”) for a newly-developed free smartphone app for Android and iOS called Pace Sync, which was launched on March 19, 2015.

Pace Sync is designed to help people under stress to relax. First, Pace Sync captures video data of the user’s face with a smartphone camera. Then Pace Sync estimates the user’s pulse rate based the video image, using the non-contact pulse wave detection technology. Pace Sync will show an animated video with rhythmic movements that are designed to reduce the user’s pulse rate and bring a feeling of relaxation. Pace Sync also shows a message on the screen which instructs users to take deep breaths at an appropriate pace.

The non-contact pulse wave detection technology was developed by Asahi Kasei’s Synergistic Solutions Initiative, an organization which develops sensing solutions centering on sensor devices and information-processing software. Synergistic Solutions Initiative is focused on creating synergy among IT solutions and technologies from both within Asahi Kasei and outside, aiming to create market value based on new perspectives by bridging the gap between devices and services. The technical collaboration with Dentsu enables Asahi Kasei to put its technology on the market using Dentsu’s marketing channels, and at the same time the two companies will continue to advance both R&D and marketing. Moving forward, Asahi Kasei will continue to accelerate R&D while creating optimum market value related to vital sign sensing technologies.

About non-contact pulse wave detection technology

This technology identifies a person’s face from video data and analyzes subtle changes in complexion in order to detect the pulse wave. The pulse rate and respiratory rate can be estimated based on the detected pulse wave. This technology has potential for application not only in devices such as smartphones and tablet PC, but also in home fixtures such as high-function bathroom vanities that could provide daily monitoring of pulse rate.

Note: Since this technology only provides estimated values, it is not suitable for medical use.

Other notable technology

Asahi Kasei’s Synergistic Solutions Initiative has also developed pedestrian dead reckoning technology for smartphones. This technology is adopted in an indoor pedestrian navigation service in environments where GPS signals are unavailable, such as inside buildings. The service, developed jointly by ZENRIN DataCom Co., Ltd. and NTT DOCOMO, Inc., will be launched in April 2015. In the same way as above, both R&D and marketing are ongoing simultaneously.


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