Apple has patented its own health monitoring headphones that also feature head gesture controls.
Following the announcement of the LG Heart Rate headphones at CES in January, Apple has just filed a patent for “sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”
The patent filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office overwrites a provisional version originally filed in 2007, so the technology is something Apple has been working on for some time.
Apple’s health monitoring system would be embedded within a pair of headphones, just as LG has done, but with some increased functionality.
When the health headset is place on or near the ear, the activity sensor outlined by Apple would be capable of picking up data including your body temperature, perspiration levels and heart rate data.
However, the patent doesn’t explain how Apple plans to gather the data, apart from some embedded electronic sensors that interact with your skin.
The majority of the data would be gleaned by skin contact, but Apple also plans to equip the headphones with an accelerometer in order to collect your movement data.
From the drawings included with the patent, it seems Apple may even equip different models with more than one accelerometer to correspond to different axis.
Using the accelerometers, Apple has proposed unique head gestures for hands-free navigation while you’re exercising. Apparently, users will be able to change the music tracks or adjust the volume merely by rotating or tilting their head in a certain manner.
This may sound a bit bizarre for sports headphones, as you’re certain to make unintentional head movements when running outside, for example checking for traffic or other potential dangers.
However, Apple has thought of this too as the patent states the gesture sequence may be initiated by a priming procedure like pressing a button.
According to the patent, the design would negate the need for any other fitness tracking equipment to be carried around with you.
Apple even outlined wired and wireless versions of the headphone, which would communicate via Bluetooth with your smartphone.
Read more: Best headphones for running 2014