Apple wins patent for heart rate monitor embedded in gadgets

patent heart rate

On Tuesday Apple was awarded the patent for a heart-rate monitor which is expected to be embedded and work with the upcoming iWatch.

The company was awarded 22 other patents, along with the one which has been named the “seamlessly embedded heart rate monitor”, by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

According to the abstract for the patent the monitor is “an an electronic device having an integrated sensor for detecting a user’s cardiac activity and cardiac electrical signals. The electronic device can include a heart sensor having several leads for detecting a user’s cardiac signals. The leads can be coupled to interior surfaces of the electronic device housing to hide the sensor from view, such that electrical signals generated by the user can be transmitted from the user’s skin through the electronic device housing to the leads.”

Aside from the heart rate monitor the patents range in variety from new display stands, docking stations, a new touch screen to even ones that allow handheld devices to have a proximity detector.

[via Cnet, Apple Insider, Patently Apple

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  • Many years ago two little old ladies managed to get a copyright on “Happy Birthday” because nobody had ever applied for a copyright on that song before. Every time it was publicly played or recorded, they got a a residual fee. This must be a similar situation because getting a patent includes funding a search for an existing patent, as many engineers discover today when they file a patent only to find out Nikolai Tesla already filed one.

  • Mike S.

    [@Ashraf] Further to what you say, the patent system is so complex that, indeed, a comma can make all the difference. But then the question becomes, can we afford it to, when fighting/defending against a patent infringement lawsuit costs millions in attorneys’ fees, given the complexities? Perhaps the system was fine 100 years ago, when life didn’t move as quickly and companies were not applying for patents on everything under the sun. But the system just seems askew now, with patents issuing for things that the common person thinks just don’t seem justified.

  • Ashraf

    [@Mike S.] Don’t you just love our patent system? Then again, can you blame them? They are overworked, underpaid people who probably don’t have the expertise required to properly evaluate the various different type of patent requests they get.

  • Mike S.

    Oh, yes, no one ever has thought up ““an electronic device having an integrated sensor for detecting a user’s cardiac activity and cardiac electrical signals” before–including the maker of the heart rate monitor watch I purchased 15+ years ago . . . .