Future Macs could sport health monitoring features

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190069835) for a “portable electronic device having a biosensor” that indicates that future Macs could get health monitoring features.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that portable electronic devices, including notebook computers, tablet computers, and mobile phones, have become common and useful devices. Many traditional portable electronic devices are configured to receive input using a keyboard or similar input device. However, few, if any, traditional notebook computers include sophisticated sensors or sensing techniques to monitor the user. Apple may be looking to change this.

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Here’s the summary of the invention: “An electronic device includes a translucent layer that forms a portion of an exterior of the electronic device, an opaque material positioned on the translucent layer that defines micro-perforations, and a processing unit operable to determine information about a user via the translucent layer. The processing unit may be operable to determine the information by transmitting optical energy through a first set of the micro-perforations into a body part of the user, receiving a reflected portion.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.