A tidy rumor regarding Apple’s EarPods was laid out on anonymous messaging app Secret this morning, touting the next generation as having a heavy fitness angle. According to the “leaked” info, the EarPods will be revamped to monitor heart rate and blood pressure, and work with iBeacon technology.
The EarPods sound an awful lot like LG’s health-monitoring headphones we got our hands on at CES. The technology in those was/is eerily similar to what’s been described for Apple’s EarPods, so the actual health monitoring technology is clearly available. With LG’s earbuds, your heart rate and blood pressure are measured from the blood flow in your ears. LG’s take happen to use Bluetooth technology, while Apple seems keen on keeping us wired.
The incoming EarPods are said to take advantage of the lightning cable port, and as the anonymous tipster puts it, “it's why the audio jack was moved to the bottom.” That seems to hint that the new EarPods will need both the audio and lightning jack to monitor your health and listen to music, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. The lightning cable can send audio, so unless there was some degradation in audio playback, we’re not sure why Apple would choose to move the audio jack to the bottom so the new EarPods could utilize both jacks.
We’re suitably skeptical of this rumor. Secret lends itself to random acts of nonsense, but has become a way for Silicon Valley insiders to leak info. We’re not sure why Apple would choose to have the EarPods monopolize your ports, either. Finally, we wonder if these fantastic-sounding new headphones will still be included with purchase of the iPhone. The technology is available, and Apple is making a big push for health monitoring, but this one seems just a bit far from center to cannonball into the pool of excitement just yet.
Update: And as we expected, it's all a hoax - though an oddly timely one given Apple's recent hires.