A recently discovered Apple patent suggests that 2019’s iPhone 11 could come with a new smell sensing system, adding a range of functionality to the device from the potentially live-saving to the downright embarrassing.
As first shared by AppleInsider, Apple has patented a system that would add smell detecting sensors to its future devices, with the iPhone 11 potentially lined up to be the Cupertino-based company’s first stab at adding an electronic sniffer dog to your gadget arsenal.
Specifically, the ‘Systems and Methods for Environmental Sensing’ patent, as Apple has dubbed it, would see future Apple devices detecting chemicals in the air and then alerting the user to the presence of the funny smell.
The potential applications here are myriad. Carbon monoxide detection and air pollution alerts sit at one of the spectrum; such a system might also be able to tell you when food has likely gone off; or it could simply nag you about your personal hygiene all the time.
The final possibility might be a bit fetched, as the bulk of the patent relates to monitoring air quality (so things like carbon monoxide and pollution levels), but it’s nevertheless hilarious to imagine a future where our iPhones tell us we reek unacceptably of Stella before a Tinder date.
Equally important to remember is that tech companies like Apple file patents for loads of different ideas – only a handful of which actually end up making it into a finished product.
Plus, while it’s neat to think that the 2019 iPhone might be able to tell you when you’ve got garlic breath, the Apple Watch series has been the company’s main point of attack for adding innovative new health and safety features, so it might be the Apple Watch 5 that’s really worth watching here.
Of course, Apple’s smartwatches work closely with the iPhone to relay and log such information, but nevertheless it might make more sense if the actual sensors themselves live a device like the Apple Watch 5, rather than the iPhone 11.
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Lastly, even if Apple has grand designs to chime in on your personal hygiene, turning a new patent into a product-ready feature in the space of just a few months (assuming the iPhone 11 and Apple Watch 5 launch sometime in autumn 2019 as usual) is a big stretch – even for a company as clever and moneyed as Apple.
Would you want the iPhone to tell you if you smelt bad? Let us know @Trustedreviews.