Google has introduced a new body temperature feature in the Thermometer app for Pixel 8 Pro, making it the first FDA-approved body temperature app for smartphones with the January Pixel Feature Drop.

temperature sensor on Pixel 8 Pro 1

Given the health implications, the team underwent a rigorous FDA De Novo classification request for accurate body temperature readings. This involved a clinical validation study on a large number of participants.

How The Thermometer App Works

The Pixel 8 Pro’s infrared sensor, located next to the rear camera, detects heat emitted by the body. The sensor’s wide field of view allows for accurate readings when the phone is close to the forehead.

Furthermore, Google mentioned that, to ensure contactless use, the LDAF sensor is employed to detect the phone’s proximity before initiating a measurement.

temperature sensor on Pixel 8 Pro

Accuracy and Algorithm

In clinical trials, the software algorithm accurately calculated body temperature within the range of 96.9°F – 104°F (36.1°C – 40°C), with an impressive accuracy of ±0.3°C when compared to an FDA-cleared temporal artery thermometer. This means the Pixel body temperature feature rivals the accuracy of other temporal artery thermometers.

Contactless and User-Friendly Design

To maintain a contactless experience, the team ensured that users could measure temperature without touching the forehead. The wide field of view of the infrared sensor (over 130 degrees) captures heat accurately when the phone is close.

The LDAF sensor, usually used for autofocus, determines if the phone is at the right distance from the forehead before initiating a measurement.

The tool is designed to function without an internet connection, making it convenient for users on the go. Clear instructions and additional features, such as haptics and audio guidance, enhance the user experience.

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