Putting a futuristic spin on the basic elements of a health check-up, Japan’s Sharp has developed a sort of healthcare pod that allows people to look cool while their vital signs are measured.
The pod-shaped device, on show this week at the Ceatec show just outside of Tokyo, measures a person’s weight, pulse, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation in their blood.
Users sit in the device and settle in for the measurements. Blood pressure is measured the conventional way, with a band around the arm, and pulse through a sensor that touches the user’s finger.
The results are displayed on one of three flat panel displays that hang down in front of the user.
When I tried the machine, it completed all of the measurements in about 20 seconds. Some of the figures were low, but Sharp said the machine was set that way to prevent embarrassment for the models demonstrating the device.
After the measurements were complete, the machine would transmit them to a doctor and offer advice based on the results.
Sharp said one of the reasons for the futuristic look of the machine is to encourage people to get their health checked more often. A line of reporters, never the healthiest people, queued up to try it at Ceatec so Sharp might be on to something there.
The company is expecting such a device might be used at a gym or in the healthcare department of a company. Sharp’s main interest in such a system isn’t the hardware but the cloud service that would run in the background, transmitting and analyzing data from the machines.
Updated at 10:13 a.m. PT with a video report from IDG News Service.
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.