Noncontact Heart Rate Detection with Soli Radar Technology

Traditionally, heart rate (HR) monitoring requires the use of wearable devices, which can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, particularly during sleep and meditation. 

A study published yesterday in Scientific Reports introduces a non-invasive approach to noncontact HR detection, utilizing Soli radar technology (millimeter wave radar) embedded in a portable device, in this case, the Google Nest Hub.

The Soli radar chip featured in this study offers a compact dimension and can be easily integrated into various devices, making it a promising alternative to traditional HR monitoring methods. Unlike existing approaches in the literature that rely on high-gain antennas and facing the user's chest or back, this Soli-based approach overcomes these limitations, making it suitable for sleep and meditation tracking applications.

Advanced signal processing (SP) and machine learning (ML) techniques achieve impressive accuracy levels on two distinct datasets: a sleep dataset comprising data from 62 users and a meditation dataset with data from 114 users.

Compared to traditional methods like rPPG, radar systems offer distinct advantages, including enhanced privacy protection, independence from light conditions, and reduced power consumption. The ability to detect HR without physical contact is a valuable development, especially in the context of sleep and meditation tracking.

The future holds exciting possibilities for noncontact heart rate monitoring using Soli radar technology. Not only can it be enhanced to track rapid HR changes like HRV, crucial for meditation, but there is also promising potential to delve into RF-Seismocardiogram (SCG). This technology can extract comprehensive heartbeat information beyond HR and HRV, offering invaluable insights into various cardiovascular conditions.


Xu, L., Lien, J., Li, H. et al. Soli-enabled noncontact heart rate detection for sleep and meditation tracking. Sci Rep 13, 18008 (2023).

Y. Rong, I. Lenz and D. W. Bliss, "Non-Contact Cardiac Parameters Estimation Using Radar Acoustics for Healthcare IoT," in IEEE Internet of Things Journal, doi: 10.1109/JIOT.2023.3317670.


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