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Apple EarPods could include heart rate sensor and iBeacon (Update: It was a hoax)

Updated on 05-06-2014 by Williams Pelegrin: Looks like this is a hoax. The original poster said the hoax was made up “while I was using the toilet and worrying about my blood pressure.” According to the original poster, his intention wasn’t to purposely mislead or be malicious, but rather to “give my friends a laugh” and use Secret as “an outlet for comedy.”

Even if the rumor was made up, it was believable, since a recent Apple patent surfaced that detailed earphones that can monitor your physical vitals in real-time, as well as provide quick feedback. In fact, since 2006, Apple has filed several patents for earphones with built-in health-sensors.

Still, given the seemingly immense focus Apple will reportedly make towards health with iOS 8 and its upcoming wearable, such earphones could actually be in the cards, or they could simply not exist.

Original post

According to a post on Secret, Apple will update the EarPods to include heart rate and blood pressure sensors. The earphones will also include iBeacon technology so you can locate your earbuds using your iOS device. The leaker indicated that the reason the audio jack was moved to the bottom of the iPhone was to prepare for the new EarPods.

The leaker states that the new EarPods will have a redesigned inline remote, as well as an extra microphone for better noise cancellation. Finally, data stored on the EarPods will be encrypted and unidentifiable, similar to how fingerprint data is stored on the iPhone 5S. The leaker indicates that we will see the EarPods when iOS 8 drops.

While these rumors are certainly shaky due to their unconfirmed nature, comments made on the post indicate that this information comes to us courtesy of an ex-Nike employee. Just recently, it was reported that Nike halted production of its FuelBand fitness tracker and laid off roughly 80 percent of the team responsible for developing and revising the hardware. The leaker could be one of the employees that were laid off.

The ex-Nike employee indicated that the new EarPods serve more as a gateway product to the rumored iWatch than as a standalone product. It will also presumably play nice with Apple’s Healthbook application, which is rumored to be the headline feature of iOS 8. This could all be a potent combination for Apple, which seems intently focused on mobile health. Time will tell if the new EarPods become something more than rumors, however.

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