Pixel 8 Pro can finally measure your body temperature
Pixel 8 Pro has become as accurate as FDA-approved temporal artery thermometers, says Google.
Google launched the Pixel 8 Pro in October 2023 with a new gimmick – the Temperature sensor. I say gimmick, as Google clarified at the launch, the sensor and accompanying Thermometer app were only capable of measuring object temperatures.
The Temperature sensor doesn’t work on humans as it doesn’t have the necessary FDA approvals. However, all that changed with the first Pixel drop of the year.
According to Google, users can now employ the Thermometer app to record the human body temperature.
In the company’s own words, it’s a “medical-grade feature” – meaning Google has secured FDA approval.
Measure body temperature with the Thermometer app on the Pixel 8 Pro
The Pixel 8 Pro has an infrared sensor on its back, right next to the camera, that can be used as a thermometer in collaboration with Google’s Thermometer app.
According to Google, it was able to finally get the FDA approval after several clinical trials its software was subjected to.
In these trials, Google’s software was able to “calculate body temperature in the range of 96.9°F – 104°F (36.1°C – 40°C) to within ±0.3°C when compared with an FDA-cleared temporal artery thermometer.”
The new feature also comes with a set of instructions to successfully measure the body’s temperature with the Pixel 8 Pro.
According to the instructions, you need to raise the handset as high as your forehead. The idea is to bring the sensor as close to your forehead as possible but without any contact with the skin.
After that, sweep it across from the center of your forehead to the temple.
Google says the sensor scans the infrared radiation/ heat coming out of your temporal artery during this action.
The acquired information is then passed on to the algorithm “to calculate the temperature that will be displayed on your device.”
In regards to why the sensor has to be so close – it’s because the Pixel 8 Pro’s sensor has a wide field of view – over 130 degrees.
Hence, if the sensor is far away, it may pick up heat from other sources.
According to Google’s research and development technical lead Ravi Narasimhan, “Arteries are relatively small, so the closer you are, the more accurate reading you will get.
However, it also begs the question, why can’t you just press the sensor against your skin?
The answer comes from Pixel’s product manager, Toni Urban. According to Toni, the company wanted the feature to work without any contact with the user’s skin to stop spreading germs.
Google has also used an LDAF (laser detection autofocus) sensor, as well as haptics and audio guidance to help users measure the appropriate distance for the sensor.
That said, Google has promised accurate temperature readings with the Pixel 8 Pro. However, we are a bit skeptical.
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