“A new program designed to allow third-party manufacturers to build headphones that would connect to an iOS device via the Lightning port, rather than the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, could mean that the latter’s days in Apple’s supply chain are numbered,” Sam Oliver reports for Apple Insider.

“Apple executives have never been afraid to pull the trigger on controversial choices to break from legacy technologies,” Oliver reports. “The original iMac kickstarted the adoption of USB at the expense of ADB and the floppy drive; the MacBook Air made it acceptable to drop optical drives and, later, spinning hard disks.”

“Following their announcement of a new headphone module for the all-digital Lightning connector at WWDC, Apple could now be on the verge of killing perhaps the most legacy of legacy technologies: the analog audio jack,” Oliver reports. “It could make headphones smarter. A bidirectional digital link with Apple’s uber-powerful handheld computers could make for better noise cancellation, improved audio quality, and even turn them into biometric sensors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bring. It. On.

Mac users are never wedded to old tech when there’s progress to be made.

Also, another good reason for the Beats buy. If Apple and Beats both change to Lightning headphones, the rest of the world will have to follow.

Of interest: Apple Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”

Apple’s patent abstract: A monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the monitoring system can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. 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. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device. In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures. More info here.

From your ear to your wrist in the blink of an eye™.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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Apple patents biometric sensor-packed health monitoring earphones with ‘head gesture’ control – February 18, 2014
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