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  • You can measure it very simply by looking at the change in light that passes through your finger. For example this was a quick hack I did a while ago that uses your webcam to measure your pulse. It's not great, but in the right conditions (light behind your finger) it does work!

    So just a light on one side, and a light sensor on the other.

    However you can buy more professional units which (I believe) have two lights and sensors at different wavelengths. One is a wavelength that is affected by blood, one isn't - and you can then just compare the two sensor readings over time to get a pulse.


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