Apple is taking a fresh approach toward its wearable tech by integrating sensors in the new EarPods for iPhone 6, which can monitor and record heart rate and blood pressure.
Apple, the second largest smartphone maker, is reportedly busy on building innovations into its first wearable smartwatch and launching the rumored iPhone 6. According to an anonymous tip on the popular gossip app Secret, a former Apple employee revealed Cupertino's plans to include the next-gen smart EarPods with the iPhone 5S successor.
Apple EarPods did not undergo massive changes as the primary focus was taken by iPhones. For the first time ever, the new EarPods will come equipped with advanced sensors that can track heart rate and blood pressure. Since people tend to lose headphones more often, Apple is adding the iBeacon technology to help locate the EarPods using the iOS device. The earbuds will also require the lightening cable port, which according to the tipster is the reason "why the audio jack was moved to the bottom."
"Apple's new EarPods will have sensors in them, for heart rate & blood pressure," the anonymous tip on the Secret app reads. "Also iBeacons so they don't get lost. They will require the lightning port, it's why the audio jack was moved to the bottom."
Comments on the post reveal more details on the unannounced EarPods such as an extra mic for better noise cancelling, redesigned remote and its launch alongside iOS8. Moreover, an anonymous poster added that the EarPods will store data in a secured format so it can be useful for doctors to study patients' health history, such as marking the point when the blood pressure started rising.
The latest rumors on the smart earphones aren't completely out of the blue. A patent filing in March 2007 by Apple revealed headsets with more than one integrated physiological sensors to track activities. Another filing at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office revealed a similar monitoring system could "be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities," according to ReadWrite. "The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate."
As for Apple's immediate plans, the tech giant is reportedly planning to unveil iOS8 and Healthbook app at WWDC, scheduled to take place in San Francisco between June 2 and 6, 2014.