Apple updates their Invention regarding Biometric Sensors for Earbuds, AirPods and Headphones, contrary to Fake News
On February 22nd Patently Apple posted a report relating to Fake News delivered by "AppleWorld.Today" about a patent by 'Clari Guitars Inc.' that they identified as an Apple patent. Even though this was pointed out publicly, the owner of the site refused to take it down.
Last week AppleWorld Today continued their streak of purposeful misinformation about an Apple Patent. The screenshot below presents their byline and their report claims of a new Apple patent to make it like a new discovery. They even gave it a fake patent number 2018006321 so that fans could never find it.
If they would have published the real (continuation) patent number, anyone knowledgeable about patents would have known in 30 seconds or less that is wasn't new patent in the least.
Last week's patent was a "continuation patent," something which AppleWorld Today has proven to have never understood.
New patent? Patently Apple posted a report in early 2017 showing the history of Apple working on Biometric sensors for earbuds and wireless earbuds now known as AirPods.
New Patent? Absolutely not. In fact on March 21, 2017, almost a year ago, Apple was granted a patent for this invention as noted in our report here.
So besides the fake patent news from "AppleWorld.Today," what did Apple actually "add" to their invention to make it a "continuation patent?" We compared the last patent application claims of 2017 with the updated patent claims to see what's new and the following patent claims noted below represents most of what is being added to the invention:
Patent Claim #3. The earbud as recited in claim 1, wherein when the earbud is positioned for use within an ear of a user, the compliant member engages the concha of the ear to compress the biometric sensor against a surface of the tragus of the ear.
Patent Claim #4. The earbud as recited in claim 1, wherein the earbud has a symmetric geometry that allows the earbud to be worn and operated interchangeably in either ear of the user.
Patent Claim #5. The earbud as recited in claim 1, wherein the biometric sensor positioned along an exterior surface of the housing at the first end of the housing and selected from the group consisting of a heart rate sensor, a VO2 sensor, a GSR (galvanic skin response) sensor, an electrocardiogram (EKG) sensor, an impedance cardiography (ICG) sensor and a temperature sensor.
Patent Claim #6. The earbud as recited in claim 1, wherein the compliant member is removable and wherein the removable compliant member includes an energy storage device with contacts that power the earbud when attached to the earbud.
Patent Claim #7. The earbud as recited in claim 1, wherein the compliant member is pivotally coupled to two different locations on the housing.
Patent Claim #10. An audio device, comprising: a first earbud and a second earbud, each earbud comprising: an earbud housing, a biometric sensor arranged along an exterior surface of the earbud housing, a speaker disposed within the earbud housing and configured to project audio out of an opening defined by the earbud housing, and a compliant member coupled with the earbud housing.
Patent Claim #11. The audio device as recited in claim 10, wherein the compliant member of each earbud exerts a force that presses a surface of the earbud housing against a surface of the tragus of an ear of a user of the audio device when the earbuds are positioned for listening within a user's ears.
Patent Claim #12. The audio device as recited in claim 11, wherein the biometric sensor of each earbud occupies the surface of the earbud housing that presses against the surface of the tragus of the ear.
Patent Claim #13. The audio device as recited in claim 11, wherein data from the biometric sensor is used to determine whether the earbud is positioned within a left ear.
You could review Apple's updated patent claims here in full. Sometimes aspects of a patent is written into the official "Description" of the patent or even the "Summary." Yet to protect aspects of an invention, they must be listed in the "Patent Claims." Patent Claims cover the aspects of the invention that Apple wants to legally protect. It's these patent claims that are what lawyers actually battle over in court, so they're very important.
Will some of the advanced sensors that Apple actually spells out in their added claims actually make it to market? On February 22, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Two New AirPods Updates planned for 2018-2019."
The Bloomberg rumor kept the changes to the next AirPods to a minimum. Those limited changes may prove to be accurate, or Apple could always add additional features like the biometric sensors now protected under Apple's updated patent claims.
I'm sure that sport enthusiasts would love to see more health data features to go along with "Hey Siri" to provide a more rounded update, but only time will tell if the new sensors will be ready for the next update.
Earlier today Patently Apple posted a granted patent report regarding some of the technology behind Apple's AirPods and you could review it here.
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