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  • New Apple Fitness Monitor through Earbuds: Report

    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.
    The patent explains that the blood oxygen monitor would transmit LED light and "detect the portion of such light that passes through the user's earlobe, the remaining light having been absorbed within the user's earlobe. From the relative absorption of these two wavelengths of light, the user's blood oxygen content can be calculated."

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Apple Fitness Monitor through Earbuds: Report started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      That would be a cool addition to nike+
    1. interstink's Avatar
      interstink -
      Would be nice, hope they dont have the same issues with Moisture/sweat as the current ear buds. I any of you go to the gym, you know what im talking about.
    1. jdys_1991's Avatar
      jdys_1991 -
      Haha lol. That is just soooo cool!
      I can't wait to see this come out, and if it will be working as expected!
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      Amazing!! As much as we like to put Apple down, they keep coming with the goods.
    1. JHoffy1's Avatar
      JHoffy1 -
      Novel way to make use of ear buds. Seems like they are describing a Pulse Oximeter which is common in hospitals.

      Not sure what monitoring your pulse ox is good for as most people who exercise have a normal Pulse Ox of 95-100% (or greater than 90%). The value in a pulse ox is for monitoring people who's Pulse Ox is <90% which are usually the elderly and those with poor lung function from smoking, etc. In any case most of those people don't monitor their Pulse Ox constantly.

      All in all, a cool way to make use of ear buds, but at the end of the day I'm not sure what application it will have for exercise. Monitoring heart rate, on the other hand through the ear buds does have some value.

    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I need that for my training.
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      now people will start buying apple headphones!
    1. iPhone 3GS Helper's Avatar
      iPhone 3GS Helper -
      I sure am going to buy one thats cool.
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      Sounds good lets see what it we cost
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      i dont work out im naturally fit =/) but nice piece of possible technology all the same.