podsA post made using the anonymous Secret app claims that Apple will use EarPods to capture heart-rate and blood pressure data, using the Lightning port to feed it to the iPhone 6. This claim seems pretty unlikely but equally interesting and only presented for discussion. Many people prefer to use their own earphones or headphones, so requiring the use of the supplied Apple ones to make full use of the Healthbook app would be less than optimal to put it kindly …  Heart rate can be easily measured on existing iPhones by using an app which utilizes the camera with flash. Blood pressure is trickier to measure accurately without an arm cuff, but there’s no reason to believe that earphone sensors would be a particularly good solution. In follow-up comments, the same person claims the health stats will be encrypted in a similar way to Touch ID fingerprint data – and that the iWatch will be another means of capturing the same data. The implication is that Apple gets you interested in the data via the EarPods, which encourages purchase of the iWatch as a more convenient method. The source also makes the safer claim that the EarPods will get a redesigned remote and two microphones for better noise-cancelling. The Secret app has been used in the past for genuine info from people in the know who want to protect their identity, but now has a far broader user-base – and the total absence of any means of verification means that it is far from a reliable source. That said, if you want to check out what’s being said out there (and I use the term ‘out there’ advisedly), you can download the free app from iTunes.

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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