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Apple EarPods will monitor heart rate and blood pressure

  • Intel's smart headset
  • EarPods

By Jane McCallion

Posted on 2 May 2014 at 12:05

Apple is reportedly working on EarPods that will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure - and that rumour isn't as unlikely as it may sound.

The rumour comes via anonymous leaking site Secret, with the unnamed poster - who claims to have formerly worked at Apple - saying the earbuds will be able to measure pulse and blood pressure.

It will also work with Apple's iBeacon system so the tiny devices can be found if misplaced, the post said, and will arrive at the same time as iOS 8.

EarPods

The EarPods will require a Lightning port, “[which is] why the audio jack was removed from the bottom”, and feature an additional mic for better noise cancelling.

For those worried about security, the data generated by the EarPods will allegedly be stored in a similar way to thumbprint point data – “fully encrypted and nothing identifiable”.

It's impossible to uncover whether the leak is really from an ex-employee of Apple, as anyone can post to Secret. However, leaks on the site have accurately predicted Google+ creator Vic Gundotra leaving that firm, and Nike shutting down its FuelBand division, the Telegraph noted.

Intel version

The leak is also lent some credibility following the announcement of similar technology by Intel at CES 2014 in January.

CEO Brian Krzanich unveiled a connected headset featuring smart earbuds that track biometric data such as heart rate, which is then sent to a smartphone. They also track movement, calories burned, and and can match music played to your heart rate.

Intel's smart headset

Apple and Intel have often worked closely on new technology - notable the Lightning interconnect - and this not the first time heart rate and blood pressure monitoring technology has been linked to upcoming Apple hardware.

The earliest announcements date back to WWDC 2009 and, more recently, it was reported the company was experimenting with audio technology to detect “turbulence” in blood flow through its iWatch, which could alert people or their doctors to an increased risk of heart attack.

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