heart-shaped electrocardiogram

It may soon be possible to monitor your heartbeat with a smart speaker

Alfred Pasieka/SPL/Getty

Computers can measure your pulse remotely by bouncing ultrasound audio waves off your body and analysing the reflections to detect the tiny chest movements caused by your heart pumping. The system could one day operate on home smart speaker devices.

Researchers at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and the University of Massachusetts Amherst used a laptop connected to a speaker to send out chirps of ultrasound at 48 kilohertz. They then used a standard microphone to record the signals that …