Sony Patent Reveals Plan to Start Tagging Photos with Vital Signs


Have you ever looked back at a photo and wondered “what was my heart rate and blood pressure when I took this photo?” Yeah, neither have we. But on the off-chance that you have, a new Sony patent application might pique your interests.

The technology specified in the application intends to enable the company’s cameras and mobile devices to tag your photos with vital sign information — allowing you to not only ask those questions, but have them answered as well.

You can find the full patent text here, but the gist is fairly straightforward. By equipping cameras and smartphones with myriad sensors on the periphery, the device will be able to sense vitals such as blood pressure, body temp and heart rate.


That info will then be attached to your photos and videos in the form of tags. No need to tag the photo with descriptors like “MotoGP crash at Laguna Seca,” you could simply find the photo based on the spike in blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and skin conductance than an exciting event would elicit.

In the patent, Sony paints this technology as a way of “improving the tagging and organization of photos and movies,” by “provid[ing] a new and more personal dimension to the organization of images.”

We’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the potential uses here, but if you want to read up on the idea, head over to the US Patent and Trademark Office website by clicking here. And feel free to share your ideas for how this might change the world of tagging (if the idea ever comes to fruition, that is) in the comments down below.

(via Engadget)

  • Christian DeBaun

    I’m not so sure (yet) that anything useful can come out of this. I’m guessing the camera would have to you let opt out of attaching this info to the EXIF, simply because it might be a violation of the HIPAA laws/rules.

    And a lot would depend on the photographer as well:

    1) Uncle Fred goes to grandma’s house the 4th of July, and drinks a six pack. The 20 year old girl next door comes over and decides to take a dip in the pool topless. Uncle Fred has a resting heart rate of a 160 beats per minute as he photographs this event.

    2) James Nachtwey is photographing a marine fire-fight in the Swat valley, and has resting heart rate of a 55 beats per minute. He is frosty cool.

    So how is this data important?

  • Adam Correia

    Uhmm…April fools? How is this useful?

  • Norshan Nusi

    So zombies can’t take pictures?