Future Apple EarPod headphones “will measure heart rate and blood pressure”

According to one rumour, Apple is set to step up its health and fitness game with a smarter set of earbuds

Apple is working on a smarter – and more health-conscious – set of EarPod headphones, according to a rumour.

One user of the anonymous Secret app, who claims to be an ex-Apple employee, said that the next version of EarPods will contain sensors able to measure heart rate and blood pressure, as well as iBeacons to make them easier to locate in the event of losing them.

READ MORE: iBeacons: How iOS 7’s secret weapon could kill NFC

The headphones, says the source, will need to be hooked up to a Lightning port – hence Apple’s decision to move the audio jack to the bottom of the iPhone since the iPhone 5 was released.

Apple has previous patents related to headphones used as sensors

In the comments under his or her post, the source goes on say the EarPods will also come with better noise-cancelling technology and a redesigned remote.

It’s tempting to write this off as nonsense – after all, this is Secret, which means the source is totally unverified – but MacRumors notes that Apple does have patents which relate to exactly this type of technology. Back in 2007, the company filed a patent describing the integration of “physiological sensors” into headsets, and earlier this year a second granted patent delved deeper into using earphones specifically as a device able to measure biometric data.

More grist to the mill are other existing devices that already integrate such functionality - Intel announced pulse-monitoring headphones that skip to more energetic songs if you're not working out hard enough at CES, and the Dash Smart Earbuds add Bluetooth wireless and blood oxygen saturation sensors into the mix.

It’s hard to deny that this story has legs. Or ears, at least.

Update 06/05/14: Whelp, turns out that the tech world has been duped. The source of the smart EarPod rumour has come forward and admitted that he made everything up. He apologised for pulling everyone's leg, and we suppose we forgive him.

[Secret, Tumblr via MacRumors, Tech Radar]

More after the break...