According to MacRumors, a new ‘wild rumour’ is suggesting that Apple may launch redesigned EarPods headphones with integrated biometric sensors for measuring heart rate and blood pressure. The claim, which adds that EarPods will sport an extra mic for ‘noise cancelling’ as well, was first posted on anonymous information sharing platform Secret, which makes it impossible to authenticate the source as well as the rumour itself (via Reddit).
Apple’s new EarPods will have sensors in them, for heart rate & blood pressure. Also iBeacons so they don’t get lost. They will require the lightning port, it’s why the audio jack was moved to the bottom. [...]
It stores the data in a similar way to thumbprint point data, fully encrypted and nothing identifiable. But nice to send to your doctor to keep track of at which point your blood pressure started rising for example. [...]
Redesigned remote too. Extra mic for better noise canceling.
Interestingly, the source points out that the rumour may be linked to an Apple patent application filed in March 2007, in which the Cupertino company proposed using sensors integrated into various accessories or even devices themselves to collect physiological data. Another filing which was granted as a patent earlier this year, also addresses headphone-based physiological monitoring.
“The present invention can include systems and methods for integrating sensors for tracking a user’s performance metrics into electronic devices and accessories therefor. In one embodiment of the present invention, the electronic devices can include portable media devices similar to iPods sold by Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif. or cellular telephones similar to iPhones designed by Apple Inc.”
While we’re not quite convinced if Apple will introduce such a product any time soon, we do strongly suspect the company will deploy biometric sensors in its upcoming ‘iWatch’.