FB pixel

Apple working on precise AirPods biometric sensors to monitor blood flow


Apple is looking into developing more precise biometric sensors for future AirPods models, following the release of a recent sensor that uses orientation detection to monitor blood flow changes, writes Apple Insider.

The company’s interest in health has grown lately, as a new patent demonstrates how in-ear sensors could determine fluctuations in blood volume. In the past, other Apple patents that discussed how AirPods could be used for pose detection and physical activity monitoring, while the new filing discusses how biometric measurements could determine blood volume alterations and measure voice input to make the earbud operational. The sensor would be placed in close contact with the skin to discreetly measure biometric data.

Apple explains in its patent filing:

“One exemplary type of biometric sensor that can be used to record biometric parameters of a user is a photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor that measures biometric parameters by shining light and then measuring the reflectivity of that light off the skin. Variations in the reflectivity can be used to characterize profusion of the blood through the skin of a user. Unfortunately, the exterior surface of a conventional earbud doesn’t typically make sufficiently solid and/or consistent contact with a well-profused portion of the ear to provide reliable biometric parameter measurements. One solution to this problem is to arrange the PPG sensor along a surface of the earbud at an end of the earbud near a speaker opening of the earbud. In this way, when the speaker opening is aligned with the ear canal, the PPG sensor can contact an interior facing surface of the tragus of the ear.”

This week, Apple was granted 64 new patents, including one for an innovative Apple TV remote with biometric features such as Touch ID to prevent kids from accessing certain content at home. Last month, it was reported the company started looking into palm biometrics for user authentication.

Microsoft is also working on a competitive product to Apple’s AirPods, however there’s no information whether they will integrate health monitoring.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo are developing a biometric ear canal geometry recognition system to authenticate smartphone users with earbud headphones

Article Topics

 |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Cybercrime and identity fraud: an Olympic challenge

By Grigory Yusupov, Regional Director UK and Rest of the World (ROW) at IDnow The Paris 2024 Olympics is set…


IDV providers respond to growing consumer demand for stronger fraud prevention

A range of digital identity and financial fraud prevention capabilities and solution updates have been released just as Veriff issues…


Biometrics developers dance with data privacy regulations continues

Biometrics controversy and investments are often found side by side, as seen in many of this week’s top stories on…


EU AI Act should revise its risk-based approach: Report

Another voice has joined the chorus criticizing the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, this time arguing that important provisions of…


Swiss e-ID resists rushing trust infrastructure

Switzerland is debating on how to proceed with the technical implementation of its national digital identity as the 2026 deadline…


Former Jumio exec joins digital ID web 3.0 project

Move over Worldcoin, there’s a new kid on the block vying for the attention of the digital identity industry and…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events