Will MacBooks of the future come with heart rate monitors?

Apple is exploring the possibility of including a biometric heart rate monitor in the palm rest of its new MacBooks, further indication that biometrics is here to stay.

The recently filed patent application describes how a microperforated biosensor in the right palm would project tiny beams of light into the skin of your wrist and measure the amount of light reflected back to it. Presumably, this wouldn’t be a biometrics to use for security, i.e. a replacement for the fingerprint sensor – without any further explanation from the patent, we would expect the MacBook to use this sensor to keep up. heart rate for health monitoring reasons.

It’s basically the same type of biometric sensor found in the Apple Watch 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and the best fitness trackers, but it would be the first we’ve seen something like this in a laptop.

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Apple patent drawings showing a heart rate sensor in the palm rest of a MacBook

(Image credit: United States Patent Office)
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Apple patent drawings showing a heart rate sensor in the palm rest of a MacBook

(Image credit: United States Patent Office)
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Apple patent drawings showing a heart rate sensor in the palm rest of a MacBook

(Image credit: United States Patent Office)

It should be noted that patent applications do not mean that such technology is actually going to make its way into MacBooks anytime soon. Apple Insider also notes that Apple seems to be most interested in how to fit such technology into the palm rest and is far less aware of the details of what. type of the sensor is used.

The patent also highlights the obvious concern some may have with a pulsed light coming from their MacBook’s palm rest, indicating that a proximity sensor would be used to ensure that measurements are only taken when the user’s wrist covers. fully sensor – so if you’re sailing in the dark, you won’t be overwhelmed by light looking for heartbeats.


Analysis: biometrics will be everywhere, we guess

The usefulness of this kind of technology is certainly interesting, but I’m not sure that’s the best use of that space on a MacBook.

While it is certainly helpful to give people important information about their health, there are devices available for this if people want to. A MacBook just doesn’t seem like one of them.

Plus, that real estate chassis in the palm rests is pretty valuable territory that feels wasted on something like a heart rate monitor. It would make a lot more sense to insert something like a stylus (similar to a graphics tablet) for creative work than a heart rate monitor if you are going to use that space for something other than a straight palm rest. .

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