“Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,149,041) for ‘earbuds with compliant member’ that hints at features we could see in upcoming versions of the company’s AirPods, such as some of the biometric readings available with the Apple Watch,” Dennis Sellers reports for Apple World Daily.
“The invention involves positioning a biometric sensor along an exterior surface of an earbud so it can be placed in direct contact with a portion of a user’s ear during use of the earbud,” Sellers reports. “In the patent filing, Apple notes that portable electronic device users have shown increasing interest in biometric tracking.”
“Apple says that requiring a user to place a sensor in direct contact with the skin to track these types of biometric data can be overly burdensome, making adoption of the biometric tracking more difficult,” Sellers reports. “The tech giant says that ‘mechanisms for unobtrusively measuring biometric parameters are highly desirable.'”
Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustration, in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s been working on ear canal-based biometrics for some time now. For example, an Apple patent application filed on May 13, 2008 described, “From infrared radiation in the user’s ear, sensors… can detect minute temperature variations due to the user’s heart beats. Heart rate can be calculated based on time between beats and the user’s temperature can be set as the ‘DC Component’ (or average or median value) of the detected temperature distribution. Other sensors can also be used for tracking the same physiological metrics or different physiological metrics…”
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