A recently published patent application suggests that Samsung could be looking to add more biometric sensors to future iterations of its Galaxy Fold devices. The application was filed in April of 2020, and describes several possible configurations for a heart rate monitor.
In that regard, the patent explains how the Fold could use a different method to evaluate a person’s heart rate based on the way they hold the phone. For example, someone could place a finger and thumb on opposite edges of the phone when it is unfolded, or the sensors could read that person’s palm and forefinger when the phone is resting in their hand. Alternately, the system could read a finger that has been pinched between the two screens.
Depending on the arrangement, the sensor could be placed beneath one screen, while the results of the scan could be displayed on the other. That data would presumably be integrated with the Samsung Health app to give users a more comprehensive sense of their well-being.
According to the patent, the proposed system would go well beyond basic heart rate and blood pressure monitoring to track more complex heart health metrics like cholesterol level, aortic pressure, and arterial stiffness. More general wellness indicators like stress and fatigue would also be covered with the system.
The patent specifically references the Galaxy Z Fold 3, though the technology could theoretically appear in any device with a folding screen. That includes future models of the Galaxy Z Flip, which gained 5G capabilities back in August. The original Galaxy Fold debuted in 2019.
As always, there is no guarantee that the technology described in the patent will ever appear in a commercial device. However, Samsung has featured similar health and fitness tracking tech in its wearable Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active2 devices.