Would you want Apple to put health sensors in your EarPods? [Poll]

Would you want health sensors in your Apple EarPods? [Poll]
By Rene Ritchie on 2 May 2014 12:42 am
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How would you feel about Apple putting health sensors into their next-generation EarPods headphones? There are a ton of health-related rumors swirling around iOS 8 and Healthbook, the iPhone 6 and even the still-mythical iWatch, and forward deploying sensors into wearable electronics, including headphones, is clearly the future. But is it the imminent future? Would you want it to be?

The discussion around this possibility stems from a post on Secret concerning the idea that Apple's EarPods could start reading heart rate and blood pressure. That EarPods could get smart and conceivably tie into the iPhone and other Apple devices via Bluetooth LE and/or Lightning connector may sound far-fetched, but would it still sound that way 5 years from now? More?

The contextual awakening is coming. One day almost all electronics will be smart to some degree. The question is, do you want your EarPods to be smart or is that very literally too close for comfort?

Vote in the poll and tell me why or why not in the comments below!

Reader comments

Would you want Apple to put health sensors in your EarPods? [Poll]

26 Comments

Adding a health sensor to the already uncomfortable earpods. No sir! How about improving the design. And adding a bit of bass to the lower and upper ends. Apple seriously needs to step it up a notch!

No thank you. I think i have enough smart devices with enough smart sensors to do that. Headphones should specialize in sound quality. That's what apple should really be thinking about.

I'm more concerned about a chance of radiation. They would have to prove that the sensors don't impact my ear canal (or my brain) negatively. Also, I wouldn't want the sensors to send my health information anonymously or publicly to their servers (or 3rd parties for advertising).

I got a pair of these earbuds to use with my Nexus 5. I really like them because they fit comfortably and don't block out all the sound around me. I wasn't able to find any others that didn't totally plug the ears. It seems manufacturers these days assume we all want to block out the rest of the world when we are listening to music. I leave mine in all the time because I have limited use of my hands. It makes it easier to answer calls too. I was really glad to see the Google Glass earbuds are designed similarly. That will be nice once I can get Glass. However, I don't see the need for sensors to be included. I guess it would be cool if it was an option rather than an overall standard. Sensors would probably increase the price and possibly the size so it would be more of a niche product.

I understand many people do wear wired headphones while exercising, but since I went to Bluetooth headphones I'll never go back, so not much interest to me. Not to mention, I find the earbuds fall out of my ear way too often due to their slick surface.

I rarely use headphones/earbuds, I would prefer some other form of wearable that would not be in my ears. When cycling, too risky to use headphones. Just my thought.

Well, I did not vote since I'm an Androider and the last time I tried using iPod earbuds it was a very painful experience. However, if the technology ever migrates to devices I'm willing to pay for (or I win the Free iPhones for Life contest) I be the first in line to try it out. I just hope the plugs are more comfortable than those things that came with the old iPod.

I wouldn't mind so much as long as the cost wouldn't increase substantially. They're simply trying to find noninvasive ways of monitoring the things people do every day. Part of the lure of wearable technology is because we only have so many hands/appendages. By combining activities of certain wearables (in this case headphones), I think it's making things a bit more efficient. So long as they're not sacrificing quality of sound.

I voted NO and was surprised to see that NO had the least amount of votes. Apple ear buds don't fit most people properly so I am sure that the false readings would be quite high. Also this is Apple we are talking about so my guess is that they will come up with some new proprietary headphone jack to make this work!

Apple Earbuds are uncomfortable and poor sound quality, every one that ever came with an iDevice I bought has gone into the trash. I get better sound out of less expensive earbuds from companies that actually know how to make speakers: Sony and V-Moda to name a couple. My current set, that I've had for quite some time now, are from Klipsche (no clue on the spelling), sounds great, and cost me only slightly more than Apple's earbuds cost at retail.

I don't want Apple to waste what space is there with something that will make it even harder to get a good sound out of a micro speaker, or more importantly to me, drive up the price of the thing they come with.

I think its a great idea. Given the current "health" of society in general, it certainly can't hurt to add this type of tech to earbuds. Anything to make people more conscious of their health is a positive.

Plus, if you don't want to use the info, it seems like it would be easy enough to shut off, or at the very least, turn off notifications.

Let's make those ear buds perform better or become some what comfortable first, then talk about adding features.

Zero value to me. It would just be a novelty. I suspect it would just be a novelty to most people also. But I'm also sure some people would find it useful. What I do NOT look forward to is the dozens of FaceBook friends constantly posting their statistics. :)

Assuming they're referring to the stock earbuds, and not aftermarket ones, I think this is one of those features better suited to a separate wearable accessory.

First, because not everyone wants or needs such a device, or to pay for something they won't use.

Second, headphones are a bit of a disposable item. They wear out or break pretty easily (in comparison to something like a wristband), so you'd find yourself replacing these - presumably- expensive accessories with greater than desired frequency.

Knowing how much big companies love collecting data and how poorly Apple protects it on iOS, I hope this never sees the light of day.