Apple has outlined plans for a fitness tracker system within a pair of sports earphones or headphones.
In a patent application granted and revealed for the first time today, the company discusses how skin-sensing technology could monitor a user's heart rate, body temperature and perspiration levels.
The application, which was actually filed in 2008, also mentions how gestures like head-tilting could be used to control volume. The built-in accelerometers would also assist with the activity tracking, presumably sending data back to an iOS device.
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There's also a vague mention of psychological sensors, although the parent does not go into detail on how they would be deployed. It is possible the idea is to decipher some indication of the user's mental state during exercise, which could then be analysed after the fact in the same way some apps use user-inputted feelings as part of their data.
Of course, given the filing was made somewhere between five and six years ago, it's difficult to interpret how far along Apple is on this project and whether it is even working on it at all.
It'd be a great time for the company to jump on board with wellness trackers, given the tech's current popularity and how useful they appear to be compared to smartwatch efforts from tech's big hitters.
Apple is widely expected to release its iWatch sometime in 2014, with recent speculation suggesting it will be fitness-focussed.
Earlier this month, a job posting requiring "Good understanding of physiological monitoring equipment, measurement techniques and interpretation of results" appeared on the company's website.
Should Apple ditch iWatch and go all-in on iFit (or earFit)?