Apple Patents Integrated Heart Rate Monitor For Smartphones, Hover Touch Sensors

TechCrunch

Apple has been issued a couple new patents by the USPTO today (via AppleInsider), including one for hover touch sensing, the likes of which we’re starting to see rolled out in Android-powered devices lately like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Another patent issued today covers an embedded heart rate monitor that could add one more sensor to the iPhone, with potential for biometrics and fitness apps.

The touch and hover patent describes a means for detecting when a person’s finger is near to, but not actually in contact with, a touchscreen device. It outlines ways in which hover input can be used to issue commands to a device, with those screens outputting an electrical field to help determine the position of a user’s finger. But the system is about more than just the kind of hover controls that other OEMs have implemented to relatively little effect: Apple describes how the…

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