New Apple earbuds could track heart rate and blood pressure


Rumor has it that iOS 8, the next version of Apple's operating system for its iPhones and iPads will have a built-in app that track your health.. Everything from your heart rate, hydration levels, sleep, etc. will reportedly be quantified via a "Healthbook" app. But how is Apple going to track all of that data?

According to a post on Secret, an app that lets anyone share anonymous messages with their contacts, Apple is reportedly working on earbuds that will not only let you listen to your music, but track your heart rate and blood pressure, too.

Samsung's Galaxy S5 includes a built-in heart rate monitor on the back. To check your heart rate, all you have to do is place your finger over it for a few seconds and it'll give you a reading. It's kind of a gimmick, since most people will probably never need it or remember to use it.

A heart rate and blood pressure monitor in your earbuds would be a more elegant solution, since most people only care about that kind of data when they're doing physical exercise. And when they're, say, running in a park, they're usually plugged into their earbuds. 

What about security? What will Apple be doing with all this personal fitness data? The poster says it'll work similarly to the TouchID fingerprint sensor found in the iPhone 5s:

"It stores the data in a similar way to thumbprint point data, fully encrypted and nothing identifiable. But nice to send to your doctor to keep track of at which point your blood pressure started rising for example."

In addition to new EarPods with built-in sensors, the Secret post also says they'll include iBeacons so you'll never lose them and a redesigned remote/mic for better noise cancellation. There will reportedly be a tradeoff: to power the sensors, the new EarPods will require the Lightning port.

And lastly, the poster added an interesting tidbit:

"It's meant more as thing people play with to be a gateway to the wearables."

Could he/she be talking about the iWatch? Ooh, the suspense!

Update: It looks like this entire thing was one big hoax.

Via Secret

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook