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back to article iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

A Chinese Apple analyst has claimed the next iPhone will be fitted with sensors which can detect pressure, humidity and temperature. In a post on her Weibo page, ESM-China's chief analyst Sun Chang Xu said top-ranking fruity sources had told her about Cupertino's plans. Google provided the following translation of Sun's post …

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Still no NFC, then.

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Trollface

On the iPhone that's called "Wi-Fi."

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NFC?

That's one feature I'd disable in a flash it appeared on any of my phones now and in the future.

Just like all this advertising depending upon where you are in the store and your customer demographic.

So effiing what If a man is looking at nappies, do you really think they want to see adverts for Tampax etc?

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Re: NFC?

So effiing what If a man is looking at anything, do you really think they want to see adverts for anything?

FTFY

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Still no NFC?

Nope, and never likely to be, either. Just like you're never going to find an infrared transmitter built into an iPhone.

Apple are betting on Bluetooth LTE / iBeacon being a more useful technology than NFC, together with fingerprint recognition for making payments.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: NFC?

Uhh... do you really understand what NFC is? Unless you press your device against a tag the distance will be too great for any kind of spamming. That's what iBeacon is for.

Having said that, as of yet there are really few applications for NFC. Personally, I can pair my BT headphones ever so slightly faster (just press the speaker against the phone for a little bit) and I can press my phone against a tag at a bus stop and get to a web page where I can see live when the bus will actually arrive; you can naturally access the same page via browsing, but the NFC method is slightly more convenient. I can also send tabs between my phone and tablet when both are running Chrome. But as said, at least personally, it's mostly useless at the moment.

(Oh, I've also had an NFC-enabled credit card for the past year or so. Didn't request or want one, my bank sent me it anyway. So far, I've found a single place where I can actually use it.)

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Anonymous Coward

Over a hundred billion in the bank

Anyone else find it crazy that a technology company with over $100billion in spare cash finds it terribly hard to spend much of it on research and innovations. Then when they finally do something, its to measure how much their customers are sweating.

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JDX
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Re: Over a hundred billion in the bank

Considering they got the $100bn in the bank by resisting the urge to stuff every pointless gadget on their products... just because you can do something technologically doesn't mean you should.

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Re: Over a hundred billion in the bank

Anyone else find it crazy that a marketing company with over $100billion in spare cash finds it terribly hard to spend much of it on research and innovations. Then when they finally do something, its to measure how much their customers are sweating.

FTFY

They do have to calibrate whether their marketing telling you to sweat is working well.

On a serious note, Apple is definitely putting money into this whole data-scrape-you movement. Although if such sensors are really part of the plan, I have doubts as to how well this works out. In general, tracking of meta data gathered during performance of tasks or exercise is notoriously noisy (the human factor). This makes it difficult to gain insight by looking at the numbers and invites grasping for explanations for why those numbers vary from some ideal or average.

This is not to say that there won't be a large market for that kind of stuff, just that it'll peak and only the diehards will be left like many a diet or exercise fad. I think it will be a question of whether they make a little money off of it (not really adding to the bottom line) or perhaps get a surprise hit (unlikely, I think).

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Re: Over a hundred billion in the bank

Apple is just another World Company that pays zero US tax which allows individuals to pick up the balance for costs of health, education water, and other minor necessities of life.

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Unhappy

I just want to get a joke in about "wetness", but I cant...

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The only things I can come up with aren't suitable for publication. For example smuggling phones into prison via bodily orifices might trigger an unanticipated response. Ew!

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Anonymous Coward

It can text you when your girlfriend gets moist

FTFY

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

Try hard, it always works for me whenever there's wetness.

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Sensing moisture...

Could this be an ultra sophisticated next generation means of voiding the warranty?

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@ Over a hundred billion in the bank...

Like what? Come on professor AC - give us an example?

The whole phone thing has been done to death, and apart from minor tweaks and geek features most us will never use - this pointless sort of crap is most likely all you'll see year in year out from this point forward.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Over a hundred billion in the bank...

"The whole phone thing has been done to death, and apart from minor tweaks and geek features most us will never use - this pointless sort of crap is most likely all you'll see year in year out from this point forward."

Just like the fanbois who can't see NFC.

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Angel

I am sure...

This type of stuff is used to track who leaks information...

Mind you I would like a Barometer on my iPhone, but that is me.

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Re: I am sure...

"We told the new guy that the next iPhone will have a moisture sensor. Now it's all over that Chinese tech-news blog. Shall we fire him?"

"No, tell him we're developing a Bitcoin wallet. We can have fun for ages."

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WTF?

Tinfoil hat

Okay, so we have a device that notoriously tracks us relentlessly, it can take your fingerprint, it (probably) scans your iris with an accuracy that UK Border "Control" would give an asylum-seeker's right arm for, and it has a camera that can take photos in higher-res than the majority of the CCTV cameras dotted around London et al.

So with humidity and temperature we have most of the components of a Polygraph machine. Pressure? Are you in a plane or on the ground? Are you sweating? *Why* are you sweating?

Lets face it, Apple are building the ultimate Cop in Your Pocket and best of all, people will queue up to buy it.

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Re: Tinfoil hat

But at least it is a stylish cop, right?

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Devil

Re: Tinfoil hat

"But at least it is a stylish cop, right?"

Crockett or Tubbs?

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Re: Tinfoil hat

don't worry - the crazies in US law enforcement are the only people on the planet who still think 'Lie Detectors' actually work! If they want a useful and effective attachment they should include a tea-leaf reader.

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Vic
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Re: Tinfoil hat

> US law enforcement are the only people on the planet who still think 'Lie Detectors' actually work

...And the audience on Jeremy Kyle, of course...

There was an excellent apocryphal story about an interrogation when the cops involved didn't have a polygraph, but they did have a photocopier. They had written the word "lie" on a piece of paper and put in into the machine. Every time the suspect answered a question, they'd push the "copy" button. He cracked...

Vic.

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Re: Tinfoil hat

"Stylish cop"

Hmmm.. maybe "Beverly Hills cop" for the US market, but the UK would get the "Callan/Lonely" version.

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Pint

A phone with a beer detector...

and a blacklist of phone numbers and URLs to stop you sending messages and visiting sites that you really shouldn't when drunk.

Now that would be a good invention!

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"The Galaxy S4 comes with nine sensors, including one to detect humidity and temperature. This sensor is used by the S Health app to work out the user's "comfort level". The phone also comes with a barometer."

Tsk. Bloody Samsung, copying Apple again. This blatant rip off has to be worth another $billion, at least.

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Very Handy Indeed

As I approach the age where bladder control may be affected I welcome the news that I could get a call telling me I'd pisssed meself - again.

(something else about Steve and Jobs but . . .)

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Re: Very Handy Indeed

Indeed.

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Joke

Conspiracy?

Pressure and moisture sensors? They're just finding out how many people love their iPhones just a little too much....

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weather

GPS location is okay but it's very poor at telling you your altitude.Barometric pressure handy here.

Humidty? Weather?

Temperature.. weather?

Aside from the fact that some sports fans like having those sort of sensors for instrumenting thier runs/rides

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Vic
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WTF?

Re: weather

> GPS location is okay but it's very poor at telling you your altitude

Really?

Vic.

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Re: weather

>>GPS location is okay but it's very poor at telling you your altitude

> Really?

Depends on what you mean by "really bad". The height precision on a normal GPS tends to be about half as good as the horizontal precision. The latter is what they tell you about, so if your GPS says it is working to a precision of 5m, the altitude reading is probably only good to 10m. You may have a large offset (several 10s of metres) from the heights on your OS map IF your GPS is not correcting for the difference between the geoid and the ellipsoid.

So, if your geoid correction is working, the altitudes from your GPS are good enough for hiking etc. They are probably as good as you get from the cheap-ass barometers --- these are only good to about 1 hPa or 10m, and you have the additional problem that changes in the weather can re-calibrate the altitudes from your barometer by several 100s of metres.

The GPS altitude is therefore definitely as good or better than you will get from a cheap barometer, and better in some ways than even an excellent barometer. It still isn't brilliant: if you want centimetre accuracy you need to use differential GPS (MUCH more expensive) or old-fashioned surveying gear (heavy and slow).

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Re: weather

If I'm hiking and my GPS tells me I'm several 10s of metres above where the ground should be, then bridges and rooftop beer-gardens excepted, I know either the GPS is wrong, or I'm about to have much bigger problems to worry about than my GPS precision!

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GPS is FAR more accurate at altitude

You do realize that pressure changes not only with altitude but with weather, right? Today my house is 700 ft above sea level, tomorrow it is 1100 ft above sea level because a storm moved in!

I'm not sure what the point of a barometer in a phone is. Maybe it is part of the temperate and humidity sensor so if you add those two you get the other whether you need/want it or not.

I'm really uncertain what the value is even for a temperature & humidity sensor. Apple doesn't add things just to add them, they would have some use in mind. Of course, rumor has had Apple introducing a TV set for about three years now so this could be yet another false rumor, or maybe they're putting such a sensor in a watch and not a phone - for training being able to tell the ambient temperature, or your skin temperature, would be a lot more useful than having such a sensor in a phone.

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Re: GPS is FAR more accurate at altitude

AFAIK the barometer is used to calculate your height above sea level... from your GPS position, it can request the pressure at a known nearby weather station, and, using that pressure and yours, approximate your height above sea level.

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Re: GPS is FAR more accurate at altitude

You can get your altitude within 15 meters using GPS. I highly doubt a barometer - especially a tiny one inside a smartphone - is accurate enough and the barometer readings at "nearby" stations are timely and the location similar enough that a smartphone barometer can do better.

The only place I see barometer readings for altitude being useful are when you're under a tree canopy so you don't have a clear view of the sky and can't use GPS - but in such cases where you'd actually care about elevation (say you're on a hike in the mountains) you'd often also be outside of cellular range and wouldn't be able to access a network to get the reading for a nearby weather station, and/or the nearest weather station isn't so near.

Nevermind that knowing one's altitude is generally not all that important, at least not compared to knowing one's latitude and longitude. The latter two are needed to be able to find how to get from point A to point B. But Google Maps directions don't include getting you to the correct floor in a skyscraper, and even if they did they'd do it by knowing what floor the office is on, not calculating how many floors you need to go up to reach the desired altitude!

I'm not saying a barometer is utterly useless, but there are plenty of features that could be added to smartphones that 1% of people will find useful, but if you want the Swiss Army Knife of smartphones that includes a bunch of niche features just for the hell of it, you buy a Samsung Galaxy, not an iPhone.

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Re: GPS is FAR more accurate at altitude

"I'm not saying a barometer is utterly useless, but there are plenty of features that could be added to smartphones that 1% of people will find useful, but if you want the Swiss Army Knife of smartphones that includes a bunch of niche features just for the hell of it, you buy a Samsung Galaxy, not an iPhone."

That's because everyone is fixated on altitude. There is another use for barometers - weather prediction, combine barometer, moisture and temperature gizmos and weather is the obvious answer.

Add to the above that Apple will then be able to collate a HUGE realtime database collected from its customers devices it can then sell to third parties to make even more monies off of its users like weather services etc and its a no brainer.

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Re: GPS is FAR more accurate at altitude

Having a device predict the weather is stupid, when it has a way to go to the internet and get a far better prediction than even a supercomputer in your basement could do if it had only a single weather station on your roof as input.

I hardly think Apple is going to sell temperature/humidity data off these devices. Let's say they wanted to do that, and there was even money in it (and I already doubt both those things) Its readings are only useful if it is outside, not sitting in the sun, not in my pocket or hands, etc. Your idea is one of the stupidest I've ever heard, and sounds like you're just trying to think of ways for Apple to screw over its customers. The positional data on where its users are is far more valuable and they don't sell that, and even made it very difficult for apps to collect - more difficult than for Android apps to do the same. If they don't sell that, they're going to try to sell useless environmental data for a fraction of a penny per user? Pull the other one.

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A barometer? That's pretty useful.

Oh. Wait. It DOESN'T tell you how good the beer is before you go into the bar? That's disappointing.

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FAIL

pointless

There is no purpose to detect the temperature and humidity in my front pocket. It will be warm and average humidity.

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Anonymous Coward

What are they going to call it? iEverygimmickpossible?

It practically ceases to be a phone and more of a health monitor. All well and good but a phone is not the device to add this functionality into. If you need serious health monitoring I wouldn't be recommending a phone.

Suppose it will appeal to Mr Fit, the slimmest minority of iPhone posers who actually use any of the health features. For the rest of the iPhone toting pikeys its just a "my phone does this" game.

More Apple bollox that appeals to no-one except the investors and the cult of cupertino.

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MSW

Boring+Low tech Human Translation

一个顶级MEMS传感器公司的朋友对我说,iPhone6可能会加压力传感器与温度湿度传感器。看来该加的都要加上去。

"A friend who is a top employee of a MEMS sensor company told me that a pressure sensor and a temperature and humidity sensor might be added to iPhone6. Therefore, it looks like they are adding whatever that should be added."

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