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A skin motion imaging system with two modes of operation, diffusive and specular reflections, was developed. The system consists of image capturing and processing elements. Using optical flow analyses of skin motion at the wrist, we have detected successfully a blood pulsation signal that concurs with the electrocardiogram. The signal provides information not only about blood pulsation, but also about blood circulation and the biomechanical properties of the skin. This system may have other applications in the future, such as noncontact blood pulsation detection and evaluation of the biomechanical properties of skin, for example. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.