Apple patents earbuds with biometric sensors (FitPods?)

Apple patents earbuds with biometric sensors (FitPods?)
Apple has previously been granted a patent for “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets” and now the company is looking to build on top of it. The base idea of the patented invention is to track users' heart rate, body temperature and other useful biometric data through earbuds or headsets.

The older patent was introduced in 2008 and it was later updated in 2014. It planned for the device to be controlled by head gestures, but it seems that Apple has realized that no one wants to shake their head left and right (or back and forth, for that matter) while running or performing other kinds of exercise. Instead, the company filed a new revision of the patent that relies heavily on touch and voice control.

The new patent shows three possible positions for the biometric sensor – in the earbud itself, in a separate attachment that goes behind the user's ear and on a cord, further away from the earbud. All three versions of the device serve the same purpose, but only two of them are inline with the AirPods' concept as a cord would completely throw the wireless idea out of the window.

Some features, detailed in the patent, will be present in the upcoming AirPods, such as the accelerometers for example, so we're willing to bet that the newly patented features might make their way to a future iteration of the headphones. We sincerely doubt they will be called FitPods, but if Apple chooses to do so, we promise to let Tim Cook and company have this one for free.


source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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3 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7040; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Oh, look Apple decides to patent something that I know of already 5 other smaller and lighter ear buds that do this and more.

2. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Yup amazing patent system....

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Funny the so-called gimmicky iCon X from Samsung already does this...lol Head gestures would have been stupid, because when working out the gestures could accidentally be done. With touch it takes a actual gesture. I love how the iCon X records my workout and then syncs with the apps when I get back to my phone, or sync with my Gear S2, and then to my phone when I get home. Trueless seamless. Right now it just has the HR feature. But I am sure more will come. The downside is, the more features the shorter you can expect battery-life to be. The batteries to keep the devices small, means poor life. fitness headphones suck to me for several reasons. For one, no one really works out for just an hours. It's usually 2 to 3 hours. One bike ride for me in one direction @ 50 miles, takes 3 hours. Which means my fitness headphones, will die 1/2 way through my workout. A solution like this which plugs into my phone for more power, would be a better solution. I don't mind the cord. I prefer corded headphones. They sound better and don't need power. If a wireless solution can't provide 5hrs of usage, it's garbage. Whether it's Apple or Samsung. I paid 199.99 for the Icon X. Even though I like them overall, the battery-life is terrible, but it last me 1/2 my ride and that is ok.

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