Vital Biometrics Month: Three Crazy Uses For Vital Biometrics

Last week as part of Vital Biometrics Month we took a look at how our unique signs of life can be used as authenticators and how that idea can lead to exciting innovations in payments and access control. Vital biometrics are a unique modality, though, in that their range of application reaches beyond authentication and into the realm of the strange.

Here are three uses for vital biometric technology that might make you scratch your head, but they also illustrate the versatility of the modality.

1. Making People Dance


When music collides with wearable tech and data analytics something special happens: artists can find an intimate connection to their audience. That’s at least the idea behind Litewave, a wristband that measures the vital biometrics of a concert goer and transmits them to an EDM artist who can cater her music appropriately.

The technology was pioneered by renowned iPad DJ Rana June, who wanted to know if the guy in the back of the room at her concerts was actually having fun. With a crowd full of Litewave wristbands, DJs can read real time data about how the audience is physically responding to her music, making them dance for a bass drop and ensuring everyone is havig a good time

Litewave bracelets can be handed out at concerts instead of regular admission wristbands and recycled after the performance in the same way that movie theatres treat 3D glasses. The data can also be pooled after an event for marketing purposes.

2. Getting To Know Your Dog

Dog And Owner

A new project undertaken by American researchers has facilitated a jump between species for wearable tech. What used to be confined to the wrist of man has now moved to his best friend with a dog harness that measures a canine pet’s vitals.

With motion detection and heart rate metrics, the biometric harness can help professionals that work with dogs better understand the animals emotions and health. This is particularly applicable for service dogs.

Sean Mealin, a PhD student at NC State who worked on the project, was quoted in a BBC article as saying,  “This can help handlers identify and mitigate stress for the dogs. It’s an important issue. Particularly because guide dogs are bred and trained not to display signs of stress in their behaviour.”

A smaller version of the biometric dog harness is being developed for use in veterinary medicine situations, but the question remains: is there any reason a dog owner wouldn’t want this for their own pet?

3. Sharing Your Heartbeat

vital biometrics and wearable tech

This next one had people scratching their heads in September when it was first demonstrated by Apple during its smartwatch announcement, and to be honest, it’s probably the strangest use of vital biometrics out there. The Apple Watch has a feature that allows wearers to send recordings of their own heartbeat to one another as a form of touchy-feely communication.

Making good on the company’s heavy emphasis on the Apple Watch’s intimacy, this strange feature lets two users communicate through cardiac vibration. One user touches her watch to send a contact an emoji of a beating heart accompanied with vibrations representing her pulse.

Some think it’s a creepy feature, others have called it novel. One thing is for sure though, when it comes to vital biometrics there are a wide and weird range of possibilities.


Have examples of other strange uses for vital biometric technology? Share them with us on Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #MIDWMonthly.