<img alt="" src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4052/4598228273_3f6e5f29d9.jpg" title="Apple Cardiac Monitor" class="alignnone" width="298" height="500" / Earlier this month apple filed a patent for an iPhone embedded heart monitor---in the patent itself, Apple tells us the following about the technology:
This is directed to an electronic device having an integrated sensor for detecting a user's cardiac activity and cardiac electrical signals. The electronic device can include a heart sensor having several leads for detecting a user's cardiac signals. The leads can be coupled to interior surfaces of the electronic device housing to hide the sensor from view, such that electrical signals generated by the user can be transmitted from the user's skin through the electronic device housing to the leads. In some embodiments, the leads can be coupled to pads placed on the exterior of the housing. The pads and housing can be finished to ensure that the pads are not visibly or haptically distinguishable on the device, thus improving the aesthetic qualities of the device. Using the detected signals, the electronic device can identify or authenticate the user and perform an operation based on the identity of the user. In some embodiments, the electronic device can determine the user's mood from the cardiac signals and provide data related to the user's mood.
Though I'm a bit skeptical of any gadget's ability to predict my mood (even one designed by apple), I think this addition will be interesting for other reasons. Certainly, health fanatics and exercise enthusiasts should rejoice---I don't doubt that there will be a flood of new bio-feedback applications for ipods and iPhones equipped with this technology.