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Apple’s new patent shows AirPods with brain wave-detecting sensors – Times of India

A new patent has been granted that describes what appears to be AirPods equipped with biosensors capable of monitoring brain activity. The patent, submitted to the US Patent & Trademark Office, shows a set of sensors integrated into the exterior enclosure and tips of AirPods.

A patent called “Biosignal Sensing Device Using Dynamic Selection of Electrodes” outlines how AirPods could potentially measure various biosignals. The patent includes illustrations that show the system would include several active and reference electrodes that would be placed around the housing of a wearable electronic device.
The images shown in the patent resemble the look of AirPods Pro.

Apple aims to decrease the visibility of electrodes used for measuring brain activity by placing them in the outer ear on a non-planar surface in the device housing, as per the documentation. The device would have multiple active and reference electrodes that can adjust to measure different biosignals of users in different conditions.
According to the patent, the earbuds, possibly AirPods, with active electrodes on the replaceable tips, in addition to reference electrodes on the earphones’ stems and other parts of the housing. These electrodes can measure biosignals, and not all need to be used simultaneously. AirPods can intelligently select which sensors to use. A user can also start recording a measurement quickly by touching a reference electrode.
This system can measure various biosignals, including brain activity, muscle movement, eye movement, heart function, and blood volume pulse. It also detects changes in skin conductance and perspiration. Multiple electrodes ensure accurate data collection despite variations in ear canal size and shape. The algorithm selects the best sensors based on factors such as impedance level and ambient noise.
According to a report by Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, Apple is developing new health features for upcoming AirPods Pro. These features include an FDA-approved hearing-aid mode and a body temperature sensor. Although the patent doesn’t specifically mention these features, it does show that Apple is trying out some health-focused features for AirPods.

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