In recent years, the user demand and market scale of Bluetooth headsets have expanded dramatically, and the quality and technology have become more mature. At the beginning of this year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds Pro along with the Galaxy S21 series, followed by the Galaxy Buds 2 in the middle of the year.
Next year, Samsung expects to launch Galaxy Buds Pro 2 and Galaxy Buds Live 2, and the sound quality and interactive experience will be further improved.
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In addition to sound quality, interaction and wearing comfort, what can you expect from the new headphones? According to a recently announced patent, Samsung is considering equipping future Galaxy Buds with biometric sensors for medical and healthcare purposes.
In June of this year, Samsung Electronics applied to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) for a patent for “audio output equipment and operating methods for obtaining biometric data.” This 47-page document was approved on December 9, 2021, detailing how and why Samsung hopes to equip its Bluetooth earbuds with multiple biometric sensors.
By equipping the headset with a biometric sensor, information about the user’s health status can be detected. The sensor is placed on the tip of the earplug so that it is in the ear canal of the user when the earplug is worn. This can achieve the best measurement. Biometric sensors enable users to obtain various health information.
The biometric sensor includes a heart rate monitor (HRM sensor) and an oxygen saturation monitor (Sp02). Others say that there is a sensor that can measure blood pressure, blood sugar, blood vessel status, and pressure level. Then, the measured data will be displayed on a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your smartphone.
Biometric data is obtained based on changes in the amount of light. To make this possible, a light emitter-such as a light-emitting diode (LED)-and a light receiver-such as a photodiode (PD)-were added. In addition, according to patent documents, laser diodes (LD) and/or infrared diodes (IR) can be used.
However, adding biometric sensors also has some drawbacks. Such a sensor will increase weight and may sacrifice the comfort of wearing. It is also important that the sensor makes good contact with the user’s ears. Since the ear canal varies from person to person, the degree of contact between the sensor and the user’s skin will also vary. Samsung has taken this into consideration when determining the location of the sensor.
In addition, the patented Samsung Galaxy Buds is equipped with a “wearing detection sensor” that can detect whether the headset is worn. This means that the biometric sensor will only measure when it is properly connected to the ear.
Whether Samsung really intends to provide biometric sensors for its future Bluetooth earbuds is still unclear. This is certainly not unimaginable. Finally, smartphones and smartwatches are increasingly equipped with many health monitoring functions. Earphones are often worn during exercise or other sports activities. For this target group, it would be even more ideal if earplugs can also provide health information.