An Apple patent filed in 2008 has resurfaced this week revealing the company’s plan to get ahead of the sports technology market with fitness tracking earphones.
The innovative idea which is now reported to be approved by US patent authorities would involve sensors in the ear buds and ear cushions recording heart rate, body temperature and, somewhat disgustingly, sweat levels from in and around the skin of the earhole during physical activities. This information would likely be fed back to an app on an iOS device for users to monitor and moderate their progress.
Motion gestures could play a part in controlling playlists, for example skipping a track with a movement of the head, and mention of ‘psychological’ sensors in the patent details also offers some imaginative potential. One speculation is that the earphones could possibly be smart enough to change our workout soundtrack to something of a more comfortable pace if it records we’re overdoing the exercise or becoming stressed.
But really there is little indication at the moment of how the earphones would actually work, or how they could possibly be used. And after all, it’s just a concept and could maybe never even be made.
Apple is the creator of popular gadgets such as the iPhone 5S and iPad Air but is yet to release a fitness device. It was believed to be developing a sports smart watch which is still the subject of myth and rumour-mongering. However it’s these rumours and the existence of the earphones patent which would suggest the company has a definite interest in joining the race.