Apple may be working on smell sensors for a variety of uses within healthcare, according to patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. One such patent points to a sensor capable of monitoring blood sugar levels by analyzing airborne sweat particles.
The two sensors could also be used to detect pollution or carbon monoxide, or to help avoid exacerbating respiratory conditions, reports MobiHealthNews.
Apple submitted the patent applications at the end of 2018 and Apple Insider first spotted it last week.
In the two patents two distinct sensors are described. These sensors would work together: One would use lights and photodetectors to see particles in the air, while the other would be an array of ionic liquid sensors that could actually detect smells.
The patents also speak of incorporating the sensors into portable devices , meaning they could be smartwatches, tablets or phones. According to the patents, the sensors could have several possible applications, some of which relate to health.
“Gas sensors can help to detect various environmental gasses, such as carbon dioxide , carbon monoxide, ozone, the patent states that volatile organic compounds ( VOCs) and the like. “Bookmark Air pollution shows a strong correlation with disease exacerbations in persons with respiratory disorders, as well as an increase in the number of deaths resulting from them,
The second patent Apple filed suggests applications for blood sugar monitoring.
“For example, when combined with photo recognition, the ability to smell different flavours can open a new horizon for smart device applications. The new applications may include health , safety, security, networking, and other areas. In the health and safety areas , for example, a smell-enabled (e.g. , e-nose) smart communication system will warn users about dangerous levels of gases such as Carbon monoxide, natural gas and other hazardous and/or toxic gases, or measure compounds in human sweat and alert the user about his sugar levels, for example,” the patent said.