The rumor further claims that the new EarPods will act as a gateway product for a future Apple wearable, likely known as the iWatch.
Any rumor posted on Secret should be taken with a grain of salt — indeed, as should any Apple rumor. But this one has the force of Apple's patents behind it.
The post comes from an alleged former Apple employee:
In the comments on that post, the anonymous source offers more details on the new EarPods. Apparently the earphones will feature a redesigned remote and a microphone with better noise cancellation. The new EarPods are also said to include iBeacon sensors to help prevent them from getting lost.
The anonymous source claims he or she was "sent home for good last week" and is now sharing this information "because I hate being manipulated."
Rumor Backed Up By Patents
It would be easy to dismiss these allegations as nonsense. But here's what's interesting: The technical claims align with a series of Apple patents.
As MacRumors notes, Apple's research in biometric sensors attached to device accessories goes back to at least 2006.
One patent, filed in 2007 and granted in 2008, covers "integrated sensors for tracking performance metrics."
The claims of this patent revolve around physiological sensors integrated with a headset. The headset can transmit data to a media system that uses a Bluetooth antenna for communication. In fact, the patent seems similar to the Bluetooth-based Nike+ iPod sensor first released in 2006.
A more recent patent filing, granted in February, is about a biometric headphone system that can measure temperature, heart rate and perspiration levels.
According to a patent application published in April, Apple is looking at enhanced headphones that contain multiple microphones and work with accelerometers for better noise-cancelation.
Vibrations on the accelerometer, along with microphones inside the earbuds, could be used to determine the correct way to improve audio quality for both sides of the conversation — not to mention improve the odds that Siri hears you correctly.
Adding It All Up
Although it is certainly possible the Secret source is just a troll amalgamating Apple patents, the concept makes so much sense that it seems inevitable Apple will move on this sooner or later.
Because Apple files so many patents, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Moreover, very few of the patents are for anything that could be considered a fully-finished product. Still, it's not uncommon to see applications or hardware features that harken back to an old patent filing.
Looking at the sheer amount of health and activity-tracking research Apple has done over the last eight years, it's clear this is an area the company cares about.
Putting this information together — along with the Nike Fuelband developments and leaks of thealleged Healthbook app — all point to a health/fitness-related wearable device.
The Secret post claims the new EarPods will launch alongside iOS 8 — and presumably the iPhone 6. It's possible an iWatch will come along for the ride too.