An anonymous post on the social network “Secret,” which allows people to published anonymous messages for the world to see, suggests that Apple’s next EarPods will be loaded with biometric sensors. Normally we would shrug this off as a rumor, except several legitimate stories have been published there recently. Even more, Apple actually has patents that back up the claims.
On Secret, the poster says “Apple’s new EarPods will have sensors in them, for heart rate and 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,” the post says.
That suggests that, in order for the EarPods to pass data, like your heart rate and blood pressure, off to your phone, they’ll need to be plugged into your iPhone’s Lightning port. Meanwhile the iBeacon feature, which has so far mainly been used in retail and in sports stadiums for in-door mapping, will allow you to easily pinpoint where you may have left your EarPods.
Leaked iOS 8 screenshots have suggested that Healthbook is indeed coming and will serve as a primary tool for health management. However, most rumors have suggested Apple will gather health data through the iWatch instead of through other gadgets, like EarPods. But, as MacRumors notes, Apple does indeed have patents that show the company has an interest in this type of technology.
“In one embodiment, the present invention can include headsets having one or more integrated physiological sensors,” a patent filed by Apple in 2007 says. “The headsets can be, for example, headphones for receiving audio signals from a media device or headsets for communication with cellular telephones. ” Another patent points to using earbuds to collect biometric data, including perspiration levels, and a user’s heart rate and temperature. That patent shows an EarPod device with an arm and what appears to be a sensor at the end of it.
New EarPods could easily allow millions of iOS users to monitor their health without having to buy a new gadget, like an iWatch. No, we have no idea who posted the details on Secret, so we don’t know how legitimate the claims are, but we also know that it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Here’s a look at the original post: