Disgruntled ex employee spills the beans on Apple’s plans with next-gen EarPods
A person who claims to have been working at Apple until last month is sharing a tantalizing tidbit about the next-generation EarPods for the iPhone 6 via the new social network Secret. The staffer is apparently upset for getting canned.Described as a new way to share what you’re thinking and feeling with the rest of the world, Secret lets you post random stuff anonymously. After getting fired, this person reportedly wanted to spill the beans on Apple’s next-generation EarPods, the marketing name of the flagship iPhone headphones.
“Apple's new EarPods will have sensors in them, for heart rate & blood pressure,” this person writes on Secret. “Also iBeacons so they don't get lost. They will require the lightning port, it's why the audio jack was moved to the bottom.”
Others soon poured with questions, urging the ex employee to reveal more.
“It stores the data in a similar way to thumbprint point data, fully encrypted and nothing identifiable. But nice to send to your doctor to keep track of at which point your blood pressure started rising for example,” he wrote in a reply.
Asked when these babies will be available, the former Apple staffer said, “When iOS 8 drops.”
The new EarPods will reportedly have a redesigned remote with an extra mic for noise canceling. According to the same person, “It's meant to be a gateway product to the other one.” Asked by one of the users if this product is the elusive iWatch, he/she said, “Name isn't final yet. But yes. That one.”
MacRumors reveals in a post that Apple has hired an MIT researcher who specializes in tracking health data from ear-worn devices.
Eric Winokur’s LinkedIn profile states, “My professional experience includes many aspects of research and development in the electrical engineering field, with an emphasis on medical monitors. From conceptualizing designs to following through with circuit layout (both IC and PCB) and building full prototypes, I have enjoyed being involved in the entire process.”
His specialties are: wearable medical device R&D, circuit design, PCB and IC layout, signal processing, and physiological to electrical signal conversion.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Apple has a patent to its name for “Integrated sensors for tracking performance metrics,” which states that “In one embodiment, the present invention can include headsets having one or more integrated physiological sensors.”
“The headsets can be, for example, headphones for receiving audio signals from a media device or headsets for communication with cellular telephones. The sensor signals can be transmitted to a data repository through the same communication channel through which audio signals are transmitted to the headset (e.g., hard-wired or wireless),” the patent description adds.
In all likelihood, the Secret user is no phony and the iPhone 6 will indeed ship with these amazing biometric headphones.
Update: author of Secret post came clean admitting he staged the whole EarPods rumor. Full details here.