Last year, Google launched the Pixel 8 Pro with the Tesnor G3 processor, a triple camera setup, and, for the first time, a temperature sensor on the rear panel. At the launch, the sensor didn’t have FDA clearance for measuring users’ body temperature.
Pixel 8 Pro Received FDA Approval For Its Temperature Sensor
However, recently, Google received approval from the regulatory authority, which means now, Pixel 8 Pro users can measure their body temperature from their smartphone. But the main question here is – how accurate is the temperature sensor?
With the January Pixel Drop, Google added the ability to measure human boy temperature on the Pixel 8 Pro. “It allows you to quickly scan a person’s forehead with your phone and measure the body temperature,” Google mentions in a post on its blog.
Here’s The Range In Which The Temperature Sensor Works
In clinical trials, the sensor 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” of an FDA-cleared temporal artery thermometer. In other words, the Pixel 8 Pro’s body temperature sensor is almost as good as a conventional artery thermometer. For those catching up, the temporal artery is located toward the side of the forehead, usually below the temple.
The research and development technical lead, Ravi Narasimhan, first developed a miniaturized device with an infrared sensor for body temperature measurement, which eventually evolved into the feature on the latest Pixel phone.
How Does The Sensor Collect Information?
Google explains how the sensor collects information and passes it to the algorithms to assess the body temperature. The Pixel 8 Pro has an infrared sensor next to the camera. Users must point the phone at their forehead and sweep across to measure their body temperature.
During the process, the phone scans the temporal artery and sends the information to the Tensor G3 processor. Google also claims that the sensor is more accurate than forehead thermometers, based on a study from the National Library of Medicine.
Users Must Keep Their Phones Close To Their Forehead To Get An Accurate Reading
To get the most accurate reading, users must keep the device close to their forehead. The LDAF sensor helps users keep the phone at an adequate distance from their forehead before taking a measurement. Since the infrared sensor has a wide field of view, it can also sense the heat beyond the forehead.
Google has already received the FDA’s DE Novo classification. However, a closer look at the data on the FDA’s website reveals that the “Body Temperature Sensing Software” classification has been granted to Fitbit LLC. The company requested FDA approval on July 17, 2023, and received it on December 15, 2023.