Apple Wants to be iDoctor

Patent suggests iPhone could keep track of your pulse

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Cause Celebs

Gizmodo

The leaked iPhone just has a front-facing camera, but future models could check your heart rate -- and beam it back to Cupertino.

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Apple has applied for a patent on the idea of putting an electronic heart monitor in a handheld device that looks a lot like an iPhone.

The device could be used to make a device more secure by reading the owner's heart beat signature, or obvious applications like letting people check their heart rates during a workout.

However, there are also some pretty insidious potential applications.

For instance, Apple recently announced its iAds platform for mobile advertising within applications sold for iPhones and iPads through its App Store.

Besides letting advertisers know metrics about everything from when, where and in what context a viewer watched an ad, which not also tell them whether it set their heart racing?

And just think of the possibilities for a Scientology stress-test app!

On a more humorously speculative note, what if Apple used the device to maintain its identity as a premium brand by only letting fit, healthy people operate their iPhone?

The company can remotely shut off phones, so just be careful if you get one of these newfangled devices not to check in at a Krispy Kreme on Foursquare and then watch your pulse change as your blood pressure goes up and trigger any sort of arbitrary "no fatties" clause in your iPhone service contract.

Jackson West would like to keep his biometrics very much to himself, thank you very much.

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