A patent granted to Apple today further corroborates that the tech trailblazer’s rumored foray into medical devices may date back as far as six years.
Originally filed in 2008 and approved this morning by the USPTO, the patent refers to a headphone system that can monitor biometric data -- including temperature, perspiration and heart rate.
“In one embodiment, the monitoring system facilitates user control of the electronic device using head gestures,” according to the document.
The patent describes both in-ear and on-ear designs that include accelerometers embedded within, which can then communicate with a corresponding iOS device, notes TechCrunch.
Related: Forget Smartphones and Watches. Are iCars and iCardio Monitors in Apple's Future?
With iPhone and iPad growth dwindling, speculation continues to swell about Apple’s next pursuits.
In addition to a long-rumored smart watch, the company has reportedly met with officials at the Food and Drug Administration and filed several other patent requests in a quest for technology that could monitor cardio activity.
The company has also allegedly tapped the renowned audio engineer Tomlinson Holman to study the noise related to blood flow with the hopes of developing software and sensors that could predict heart attacks.
Beyond medicine, top Apple executives were said to have met with Tesla founder Elon Musk in Cupertino, Calif., last spring, raising speculation about an acquisition or a lesser partnership that might include Apple touchscreens on Tesla dashboards.
Related: How's Your Heart Rate? The Most and Least Stressful Jobs of 2014