Apple patents headphones that can monitor your vital stats

vitalApple’s interest in the health and fitness market may seem like a new niche, but a related patent goes back almost six years.

Filed in 2008 and awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, a patent called “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets” describes how such products could track your health and fitness and perform certain tasks based on how you move your head.

Key to the invention would be sensors embedded into one or more areas of the headsets or earbuds. By coming into contact with your skin, these sensors would be able to detect your heart rate, temperature, perspiration, and other physical stats. Wearing such a hands-free device would be a way to monitor and record your vitals as you exercise or play sports.

As a bonus, the sensors could also respond to the motion of your head to perform certain tasks. For example, let’s say you’re listening to music. Tilting your head one way would pause the current song, tilting it another would skip to the next track, and tilting it a third way would raise or lower the volume.  More