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Apple patents headphones that track your health and fitness

A patent granted to Apple today further corroborates that the tech trailblazer’s rumored foray into medical devices may date back as far as six years. Originally filed in 2008 and approved this morning by the USPTO, the patent refers to a headphone system that can monitor biometric data — including temperature, perspiration and heart rate. “In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures,” according to the document.

Apple has been granted a patent by the USPTO today (via AppleInsider) that could fit in with its apparent plans to get into health and fitness tracking in a big way: the document describes a headphone system that builds in sensors to detect heart rate, temperature, perspiration and other info to track a user’s movements and activity levels. The patent describes ways of integrating this monitoring system into both earbud and on-ear type headphone designs, with accelerometers and other sensors embedded in each. They could communicate data back to an attached iOS device via cord, or wirelessly using Bluetooth. Sensors might be housed either directly within the headphones themselves, or in a detachable component that can be removed when not in use. The patent also includes a description of a system for controlling playback via head movements using the headphone accelerometers, too.


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