Wearables

Apple patents earbuds with fitness-tracking tech

Apple patents earbuds with fit...
Apple has received a patent for smart fitness-tracking earbuds
Apple has received a patent for smart fitness-tracking earbuds
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A drawing of the controls from Apple's patent
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A drawing of the controls from Apple's patent
A diagram of the potential earbuds from Apple's patent
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A diagram of the potential earbuds from Apple's patent
Another possible design for the earbuds
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Another possible design for the earbuds
Apple has received a patent for smart fitness-tracking earbuds
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Apple has received a patent for smart fitness-tracking earbuds
A breakdown of the how the earbuds will work
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A breakdown of the how the earbuds will work
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Just a few days ago, we featured a set of fitness tracking earbuds called The Dash. Now, a new patent has surfaced from Apple that locks down similar technology, citing "A hearing device, comprising: an audio output device configured to be positioned within a user's ear; a monitoring system located in substantially close proximity to the audio output device." Basically, it patents exactly what The Dash promises.

With rumors constantly circulating about Apple releasing some sort of smart watch, it's not a surprise that the company would be looking towards smart earbuds as well, with fitness-tracking products being all over the place lately.

The patent was actually filed back in October of 2007, but it was just granted on February 18, so this has clearly been on Apple's radar for a long time. The device, if it ever comes into existence, will be able to track metrics like temperature, heart rate, movement, and more.

Of course, Apple has no shortage of patents, and it's completely possible that the company might never do anything with this one; only time will tell.

Source: US Patent Office via Ubergizmo

View gallery - 5 images
4 comments
Natrinicle
Wonder how these will compare to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hellobragi/the-dash-wireless-smart-in-ear-headphones or http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/intel-smart-earbuds/
wolfshades
Apple is going to have to do a major re-design if they expect to get any traction with such a device. I mean, they haven't changed up the style of the earbuds in a while. When people use them, everyone else around them can hear the tinny music. They should take a page from the Shure SE in-ear earphones.
Bill Chase
It's time Apple made earbuds that stayed on your ears.
thatBeatsguy
@wolfshades: Yes, I also do think that an around-the-ear design would help a lot for smart earbuds like that. The fitness tracking device might even be able to fit in the earphones' housings (theoretically since I have little knowledge of this). But I'd rather just go buy a Shure or an ADV Alpha and be done with it.