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Content Creator Kashif Khan took to Instagram on May 3 to express his concern about a recent patent Apple filed. In the video, Khan outlined some new tech innovations Apple has worked on for its AirPods.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, publicly published an application filed by Apple in January 2023 just a few months later in July. The application revealed the tech giant is looking into a wearable device to be attached to the Airpod that can measure biosignals. The “processor [will be] arranged to identify active electrodes for sensing the electrical activity of the brain of a user.”

The patent application reads, “The processor is further configured to control the switching circuit for acquiring measurements corresponding to the biosignal being senses using the identified subset of the one or more subsets of active electrodes and the identified subset of the one or more subsets of reference electrodes.”

Although the brain is typically monitored with high-sensitivity electrodes on a person’s scalp, Apple has shared that its new patent can do the same: “Using electrodes placed in or around the outer ear may be preferred due to benefits such as reduced device mobility and decreased visibility of the electrodes when compared to other devices that require electrodes to be placed on visible areas around the scalp of the user.”

The Apple patent claimed that this new addition wouldn’t change the Airpod’s original function, as the system would be able to work noninvasively.

“The switching circuit is operable to electrically connect several different subsets of one or more electrodes in the set of electrodes to the sensor circuit.”

Apple expressed certainty in the patent that the new design would be able to accurately measure brain activity with an ear-electroencephalography, or EEG, device.

Although Apple hasn’t officially confirmed the details shared in the patent application, Khan described a few possible disturbing functions of the new technologies being implemented. He said, “This new feature adds sensors to the AirPods that can measure various biosignals, including brain waves, muscle and eye movement, heart function, and blood volume pulse.”

“Imagine one of the biggest companies in the world being able to track your focus levels at work, monitor how stressed you are, and what you’re thinking at any time of the day.”

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