Apple granted patent for health-monitoring earphones with motion detection

In January, we wrote about LG's Lifeband Touch and its companion pair of ear-phones. The HeartRate buds, which will debut in the first half of 2014, are the first of their kind. They will monitor your vital signs through your ears and simultaneously pump them full of music. The concept is innovative, and now we learn that not only LG has been interested in it.

Yesterday, the USPTO granted Apple a patent for earphones and headphones with embedded sensors, which the iPhone maker filed back in 2007. They include motion detection for music-related gesture controls. The processing is handled by a module simply called “monitoring system”. It can be worn on the user's body (clothes), attached to a digital device (stationary or mobile), or built into a headset. Perhaps the invention was conceived with the iPod in mind, which was a big seller for Apple back in the day.

The iPod Touch could have paired nicely with the biometric earphones, but Cupertino was smart to wait for the appropriate moment. Right now, health monitoring is opening up a new market niche within the world of smart technology, and Apple will be seeking to dominate it. Recent reports have revealed that the company has been meeting with FDA experts in the field of regulation and approval for medical apps and devices. It's also confirmed that the upcoming Apple iWatch will include health-monitoring sensors. Furthermore, a health app, codenamed Healthbook, is under development for release with iOS 8.

The biometric earphones are just another step in a direction that Apple has been following for much longer than expected. However, it will be interesting to see whether LG's competing product will spark another unhealthy patent battle.

source: USPTO via The Guardian



1. Väliaikainen unregistered

I don't really get it. Why would I wan't to monitor all my health related stuff? I can feel my self if I haven't slept enough, if I'm hungry, if I need to do some sports and so on. I don't need a device to tell me all this...

4. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It is a sad attempt to find a new revenue stream and "revolution" by a self proclaimed revolutionary company. Rumors of an "iWatch" started the whole smart watch fad which will likely equate to nothing and now they are trying every possible thing to get more money out of consumers like the smart phone craze did.

8. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Basically they need to pump all you data to Big Phama so that Monsanto et al can get new beed of GMO crops to make you more sick and generate consumers for the Big Pharma.

2. IliyaBeshkov

Posts: 261; Member since: Jul 09, 2012

What is USPTO? United States Patent Troll Organization?!

5. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

uspto going have to stop this B.S. Granted them any patent they want

3. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

Whoa there PA, this news is way too old. Anyhoo, clearly this goes to show that someone was slacking off 'cause this patent should have been granted a long time ago

10. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Really? Putting a sensor on an earbud is new, novel in any way? GFY.

6. ultimatewarrior

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 19, 2014

They don't have a patch on "The Dash" ear buds by Bragi llc.

7. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Someone should come up with bone conduction hearing aid hooked to phone.

9. ultimatewarrior

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 19, 2014

rustic guy. Search The Dash by Bragi. They have a real gem of a product coming up.

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