Apple isn’t content with its mobile devices being used for communication, entertainment, and work, it also wants them to double as health devices. We’ve already seen this in the Apple Watch, which includes an electrical heart sensor and can detect falls. However, a newly discovered patent reveals Apple intends to go much further to protect iDevice owners.
As Patently Apple reports, the patent was filed back in July 2017 and carries the title “Chemically Robust Miniature Sensors.” It details a tiny sensor that can be embedded in a device and used to test for the presence of a specific gas.
The patent goes into detail about what the sensor is capable of detecting, stating “the target gas comprises at least one of ozone (O.sub.3), nitrogen dioxide (NO.sub.2), nitrogen monoxide (NO), sulfur dioxide (SO.sub.2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH.sub.4), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and wherein the components of a gas mixture other than the target gas comprises poisoning species including siloxanes, sulfates, phosphates and chlorides, and/or interfering species such as water vapor.”
Carbon monoxide is commonly referred to as the “silent killer” due to the fact it is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. When we are exposed to it, CO prevents the body from getting oxygen and high levels can lead to a loss of consciousness and eventual death. Having a smartwatch, smartphone, or Internet of Things device that can quickly detect and alert you to carbon monoxide is going to save lives.
It’s unclear when or even if this patent will actually turn into a real feature, but a second patent suggests Apple is really serious about making this work everywhere. The second patent is titled “Speaker Integrated Environmental Sensors” and covers adding different types of sensor into audio components such as speaker. That opens the way for MacBooks and the iMac to feature sensors and therefore allowing for more coverage.
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