The days of caregivers sticking instruments inside our bodies to measure stuff may be numbered. Sensors are getting better, and the pace of the improvement is quickening. Thermometers like the new Thermo from the French health biometrics company Withings (now owned by Nokia), work by moving over the forehead without touching the skin, and are among the first wave of health scanning devices to show up on the consumer side.
The Withings Thermo isn’t cheap, selling at the Apple Store for $100. Sure, it looks cooler than a similar Braun contactless thermometer at Best Buy ($46), but the Braun is less than half the price. A Withings rep said the Thermo is unique because it’s FDA-approved.
The Thermo uses 16 infrared sensors to take more than 4,000 measurements during a forehead scan, Withings says. It automatically finds the hottest point on the forehead and zeroes in for a reading there. The device gives the user a little buzz when it’s done scanning.