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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Apple Looking At Medical Devices

Apple is looking at medical devices to diversify its sources of revenue and has been just awarded a patent for health-monitoring ear buds.

The patent was filed with the United States Patent Office in August 21, 2008 and was published online February 18. It describes a monitoring system that can be placed proximate to the head or ear of a user and can be used with headphones, earbuds or headsets. The monitoring system can, for example, be used to monitor user activity, such as during exercise or sporting activities. The positioning of the monitoring system can also facilitate sensing of other user characteristics (e.g., biometric data), such as temperature, perspiration and heart rate. The monitoring system can also be used to control a an electronic device using head gestures, the patent text reads. So, by tilting your head to the right, left, backward or forward, or even rotating it to the left or right "an entire head gesture language may be developed," according to the patent.

It is not clear whether such a device should be expected in a real product soon. However, Apple is looking to diversify its products and seek revenue from car and medical devices, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

The report claims that Apple is also exploring medical devices and sensors that can help predict heart attacks by studying sound blood makes at it flows through arteries.

Apple is expected to have something up its sleeve for 2014. Speculation currently revolves around a smartwatch or even a long-rumored TV product. The company is also expected to launch the iPhone 6 smartphone, and may also launch wearable devices such as iWatch, in the second half of the year.

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