Temperature taking could come to AirPods and Apple Watch straps

Besides its very likely integration in the Apple Watch 8, the body temperature sensor could also arrive in the AirPods and even be added to fabric bracelets for the Apple Watch. A new patent filing goes in this direction.

An intriguing patent on a digital thermometer

Apple has filed a patent application for a body temperature sensor that could be used in future AirPods and fabric watch straps.

It looks like the upcoming Apple Watch 8 won’t be the only device to feature this sensor. We’ve been waiting for AirPods with health tracking features for a while, which this patent seems to back up.

If you are interested in this kind of novelties, you can start saving money. Apple will unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 lineup on September 7, and the AirPods Pro 2 could be announced alongside the new phones and watches.

airpods 4 patent temperature

Apple patent drawing showing an AirPod with a body temperature sensor.
© Apple / USPTO

Will the AirPods have a temperature sensor?

On August 25, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a new patent application from Apple, titled “Packaging technologies for temperature sensing in health care products”. It plans to integrate a network of body temperature sensors into AirPods, next-generation Apple Watch straps, and more.

Here is a relevant excerpt from the filing:

In some embodiments, the temperature sensor packages are configured for touch sensing and include an electrically conductive sensor pattern such as a thermocouple or resistance temperature detector pattern. In some embodiments, the temperature sensor packages are configured for non-contact sensing and include an integrated transducer.

A package would include a routing layer, a cavity in the bottom face, a transducer mounted in the cavity, and a chip mounted in the top face. This chip should be in electrical connection with the transducer for the solution to work.

And Apple Watch fabric straps, too!

Apple explains that its sensor housing could be rigid or flexible. In the latter case, the patent filing explores the integration of a network of temperature sensors into a fabric Apple Watch strap. The patent does not specify whether Apple’s existing wristbands could accommodate this sensor or not.

So an Apple Watch band with a temperature sensor could theoretically bring the functionality to the Apple Watch Series 7 and older models that don’t have that sensor.

You won’t have to wait much longer to find out if body temperature detection is a feature of the upcoming AirPods Pro 2 or AirPods 4. Apple’s “Far out” media event, during which will be unveiled iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8 and, possibly, new AirPods, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m.

This particular patent comes right after another patent for a light-bending infrared projector that basically describes the design of the new iPhone 14 Pro Face ID.

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