Apple today was granted a patent that essentially updates an older wearable sports and health tracking device invention with features similar to those found in the company's new AirPods wireless headphones.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent on Tuesday with the title "Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets", which AppleInsider notes is nearly identical to a patent of the same name granted in 2014. However, the new document adds some new details hinting that Apple may be planning on integrating the technology into a forthcoming version of the company's AirPods.

biometric AirPods
The patent describes an earbud-based fitness monitoring system which integrates an advanced biometric sensor that can detect physiological metrics including temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels and more, through skin contact and via built-in motion sensors.

The updated document does away with references to a head gesture-controlled user interface and replaces them with details of a UI that users interact with via voice and touch. The newer invention allows users to touch areas of the headphones to trigger controls such as changing music track or invoking Siri. Alternatively, users can speak commands through a microphone, which are then processed by the headset or sent to a host device such as an iPhone.

biometric AirPods
The changes bear clear similarities to Apple's recently delayed AirPods, which include embedded infrared and motion sensors for controlling various system functions. AirPods automatically detect when they are removed from the ear and can power off independently. The AirPods' tap controls also enable wearers to invoke Siri which can then be used to control music playback, volume, and other options.

With Apple's first-generation AirPods already being delayed suggesting technical issues, it's unlikely we'll be seeing a biometric sensor-equipped version of the earbuds soon, but the patent suggests Apple still has long-term designs on in-ear health and activity tracking, possibly being readied for a future model.

Apple says it needs "a little more time" before its AirPods are ready for customers, but a recent report indicated they could enter production in December possibly in time for availability going into the holiday season.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Tag: patent
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

benz240 Avatar
68 months ago
They can't even ship the current generation AirPods and they're working on the next gen?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
68 months ago
They can't even ship the current generation AirPods and they're working on the next gen?
Sorry, are you new to product design?

You can't buy a "2018" model car right now, but you can bet your ass that BMW is working on their 2019, 2020, and 2021 models right now. :rolleyes:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
68 months ago
Where are the current generation airpods??? ****ing liar
Apple didn't lie about anything. It was an unknown delay that pushed them out further From their original October release. Apple released a statement to Tech Crunch they would be delayed.

A lie would be if Apple introduced the Airpods and then stated they never existed to begin with.

If you are going to bash Apple, at least understand the differences between a lie and a set back.

Also, you posted this same snark remark on another Airpod rumor a few weeks back. It's getting old and time to retire it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SMIDG3T Avatar
68 months ago
There is probably an issue that they need to sort out, people just need to be patient! would you rather Apple release them with problems/issues? i want to buy a pair, i was ready to pre-order them since they have been announced but i'd rather wait and have a product that is ready than one with issues.
I'll keep saying this until it gets into people's heads.

This is absolutely correct. Apple made a mistake, admitted it and said they need more time to make these to the standard everyone expects.

Perhaps a month or two is a lot to some people on here? In reality, it's nothing. I can't wait for these.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave245 Avatar
68 months ago
I'll keep saying this until it gets into people's heads.

This is absolutely correct. Apple made a mistake, admitted it and said they need more time to make these to the standard everyone expects.

Perhaps a month or two is a lot to some people on here? In reality, it's nothing. I can't wait for these.
Exactly, i really think that Apple can't win, people complain because Apple are taking extra time to work on them, but if Apple released them without them being finished and or any problems being removed, people would seriously complain then (and correctly so.) Not only that but people moaned about them when they were announced, people complained about the design and the price.

Now a days it seems companies like Apple can't win, people will always complain and bitch. Apple decided against doing a Touch-screeb Mac, and people think they aren't innovating, it makes me laugh :D but at the same time it is frustrating :( because the same people would also moan and bitch if Apple did do something like that and the user experience wasn't good (which it wouldn't be).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
68 months ago
They can't even ship the current generation AirPods and they're working on the next gen?
How do you think product development works… I'm curious?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...