AppleInsider revealed today a patent application, filed in May of last year, for a revolutionary new way of measuring pulse, body temperature and blood oxygen, all through the earbuds of your iPod or iPhone.
In an apparent effort to build on the success of the Nike+iPod sensor technology, the patent describes a method of obtaining information about your workout by emitting light from the earbud and using photodetectors to measure blood oxygen levels, body temperature, heat flux and heart rate.
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.
Other monitoring technology outlined in the patent includes a strap that would give more accurate measurements of heart rate and a wireless transmitter to sendthe data to an iPod or iPhone. The system would detect errors induced by the wearer's movements, and filter them out from the data for improved accuracy.
The Nike+iPod Sports Kit is an existing application which measures and records the distance and pace of a walk or run. It consists of a small piezoelectric accelerometer that's embedded in a Nike shoe which communicates to either a separate receiver, or directly with a 2nd-gen iPod touch or an iPhone 3GS.
image via AppleInsider