A Method and Apparatus for Optical Sensing and Quantification of Breathing

A Method and Apparatus for Optical Sensing and Quantification of Breathing

Docket: UAH-P-06015


Researchers at UAH have developed a new apparatus that allows for determination of respiration symmetry and intensity in real time.

Currently available breathing sensors provide estimated lung volume and flow, but do not support precise quantification of symmetry of air flow through left and right nostrils (nose channels). The apparatus developed at UAH addresses the shortcomings of the current breathing sensors.

This apparatus and method uses a conventional thermo-sensitive film, and an optical sensor that is connected to the image processing device. The colors of the film, represented as a two dimensional array or pixel values, are transformed to relative temperature, which allows quantitative analysis of breathing.


  • Determination of the diurnal and circadian cycles of breathing
  • Indication of the health condition and quantification of the respiratory system
  • Medical diagnostic of anatomical deviation of nostrils
  • Medical diagnostic of diseases, stress, and other conditions
  • Biofeedback for patients and athletes


  • Non-invasive and unobtrusive
  • Evaluates left/right nostril symmetry
  • Detects and quantifies breathing using thermo-sensitive materials and optical sensing
  • Cost efficient


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary