Samsung's wearable chip wants to tell you how fat you really are


It might not sound like the most exciting thing to come out over Christmas, but Samsung's new bio-processor chip for wearables could actually make a big difference this year.

The chip can handle an impressive number of sensors, meaning it can provide a much larger picture of your body's health throughout the day.

Not only that, but the brand believes that it's managed to shrink the footprint of the chip down to 25% the size of using all the discrete parts together, which could mean really miniature wearables this year.

The official run down of sensor capabilities is: bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), photoplethysmogram (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), skin temperature, and galvanic skin response (GSR).

In real terms, it can test your body fat on the go, check your heart rate and rhythm, see how warm you are and monitor your stress levels.

I'm so excited

The last one is actually one of the more interesting of the line-up – while it sounds GSR monitoring will only give you access to how hard your boss is pushing you, in actual fact it really measures 'excitement' levels.

Imagine you're on a run and you suddenly get an energy spurt and decide to start going faster, adrenaline pouring into every muscle and making you feel like you're flying for a brief moment.

A wearable that can measure GSR could register that response in your skin's chemical reading and then change the track you're listening to for something that's faster paced and more uplifting.

It's unclear whether Samsung's bio-processing chip could handle such a task, but it would be awesome if 2016 heralded the start of such a movement in wearable tech.

Sadly there aren't any devices using the new processor just yet – nor a release date - although Samsung has released 'reference platforms' including a wrist band, patch and, oddly, 'board' to show off what it can do.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.