Forget the iWatch, Apple is researching iHuman – a wearable computer

By , Feb 12, 2013

Nike FuelBand with iPhone

Have you followed the talk of a possible iWatch from Apple, an all-glass iOS device supposedly putting a smartphone on your wrist? That would be small potatoes compared to a whole network of sensors turning your body into a walking, talking Apple device.

In an 84-page filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the iPhone and iPad maker describes what it calls a “Personal items network.” Covering you head-to-toe, sensors would detect movement, temperature – even track how fast your heart beat when watching certain television shows, according to a Tuesday report…

At the heart of the network of wireless sensors is a movement monitoring device.

“These tiny transmitters can take the form of an adhesive strip similar to a bandage and include a processor, a detector, communications port, and battery,” AppleInsider cites Apple’s application.

Apple wearable patent 001

The tech news site says the application refers to dozens of previous patent applications, some a dozen years old.

Along with taking the form of a bandage, the sensor package could also become a credit card or even attach to meta objects, all the while recording when certain “events” occur – or do not.

Potential uses range from assessing athletic performance to monitoring sensitive components or ensuring medical components are not damaged by storage in a cold warehouse.

According to Apple, the so-called MMD could attach to a football player’s helmet, registering the impact of a hit and sending the data to a remote site – perhaps a TV network displaying the results to viewers.

Apple wearable patent 002

As the company said: “Other advantages should be apparent in the description within.”

Indeed.

While an MMD is used for checking your movements, an event monitoring device – or EMD – would track events. Those events could range from simple data like atmospheric conditions that could detect whether a package is sitting on your front porch or hidden in a bush during a rainstorm.

However, the device could also watch your heart rate, take your pulse – and then contact someone should any of those factors elevate beyond a certain point.

iPhone Wrist (Yrving Torrealba 001)

Apple suggests such monitoring has commercial uses.

Forget the Nielsen boxes, slap on an EMD. If you watch a particular show that causes your heart rate to increase, dial-up the network and renew the show.

As before, “other advantages should be apparent.”

Now this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about wearable monitors, such as the Nike FuelBand, a wristban that tracks your daily exercise.

However, previous attempts at wearable computing have been more of a ‘proof-of-concept’ showing a person can walk around with a PC and webcam – an arrangement only a geek would love.

Apple, with both its design skills and its marketing genius, could finally commercialize wearable computing, turning tech into a modern jewelry.

To peruse the entire 84-page patent application, check out the USPTO web site.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Nasser1510 Nasser Cedeño

    IHuman?? Apple Don’t know What to do Anymore :?

    • Guest

      You clearly don’t see the innovation.

  • http://twitter.com/patrickw1995 Patrick

    scrap that go straight for the irobot i would love to have one of those, hopefully they will make them in my lifetime

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryanjames.christensen Ryan James Christensen

      No iRobot. It’ll end up like the Will Smith Movie.

      • http://twitter.com/patrickw1995 Patrick

        but we all seen it so we will put extra precaution when building these things but i want one

      • http://www.facebook.com/ryanjames.christensen Ryan James Christensen

        The giant computer from the movie is pretty much Siri if you think about it. And wouldn’t Apple work around the stuff from the movie if we already know about it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jhonny1x Jonathan Jaimes

    Made out if glass that is so fake next thing you see people are sueing apple because there iwatch stab them.

    • Ben

      You do realise that’s a concept, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    So this would be pretty awesome, but “sticky bandaids” that sounds pretty terrible, one wouldn’t even notice if some of them were to fall off due to perspiration and whatnot. What’s that? at least a $70 loss from one sensor?

  • Muhammad

    Once enough people buy these and put them, Tim cook flips a switch and everyone wearing this will turn into robots and Tim will have a personal robot army to take over the world

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.dennery Jason Dennery

    No one else is worried about the potential for abuse by the powers that be?

    It’s already well know that Apple is very compliant with government requests for information about it’s device’s users.

    Not to be some conspiracy theorist or something, but I would NEVER put something on or in my body which could potentially transmit personal data about my body to third parties. It’s bad enough that my iPhone could potentially transmit my location, text messages, Internet search and browsing history and even phone calls.

  • Kurt

    Sources say it will be called iCancer