Fraden Corp., a closely held San Diego technology company, received a U.S. patent for a technology that would enable the use of a mobile phone to take a person's body temperature.
Patent 8,275,413 covers the use of a wireless communication device with integrated electromagnetic radiation sensors.
According to the patent, a hand-held device, such as a smartphone, could incorporate sensors and signal conditioning modules for measuring signals from external sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in the low, radio, ultraviolet and infrared spectrums.
The patent envisions a device that combines the functionalities of the built-in digital photo camera, a non-contact thermometer and a pattern recognition algorithm for guiding the user for a proper positioning of the mobile communication device, aimed at ensuring the optimal conditions for obtaining a reliable temperature measurement.
The device could also be used for monitoring the signals of electro-magnetic fields for assessing ambient radiation levels.
Fraden said this could be useful given concerns about long-term health effects of electromagnetic radiation from a variety of mobile devices and proposed legislation on some countries placing limits on the amount of such radiation to which children and young adults could be exposed.
The company filed the application for this patent in November 2011.