Recently a post appeared
on the sharing app Secret (that allows people to anonymously confess any secret they want) revealing that Apple was soon going to release sophisticated new headphones that would include built-in heart rate and blood pressure sensors, as well as iBeacons so they couldn't get lost.
The post was entirely anonymous, so it should have had no credibility. However, it soon was being widely reported on technology sites
, and even made its way onto the Daily Mail
Why did people give an anonymous rumor such credence? Because, as was frequently noted, it appeared to be a rumor backed up by patents. Specifically, Apple had filed some patents suggesting they were developing wearable medical devices of this kind.
But it all turned out to be a hoax. Just another phony product rumor. The author of the post has revealed
that it was a crazy idea he dreamed up while sitting on the toilet.
I made it up. I wrote it 5 minutes after I woke up on the 1st of may. I was blurry eyed, I had a headache, I was using the toilet and worrying about my blood pressure.
I’d been messing around with secret as an outlet for comedy. The anonymous nature makes it a fun place to post things you can’t on twitter. I’ve been posting a few jokes there for a week or two. Because of the way Secret works, your posts only go to your friends and so I’ve been posting stuff there to try and give my friends a laugh. I like jokes and funny ideas and so Twitter and Secret are great for this kind of stuff. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it art but it’s a place I can test my creativity in a way I like to.
I was sitting there doing my business thinking what today’s joke would be. I take medication for ASD related stuff that can sometimes raise my blood pressure, so I was wishing I had an iPhone accessory that would measure it. I looked around on Amazon and eBay and couldn’t find a good one at a price that it was worth to me. I was then thinking I wish Apple had a way to build one in to the phone. I started thinking how that would be possible. You can get the pulse from the camera with an app, but blood pressure is another thing. I thought jokingly you could wrap the headphones around your arm and measure it that way. From that, I thought a fake iPhone rumor about it would be a funny idea.
The idea of Apple including a free heart pressure monitor, something that would cost >$100-$200, seemed ridiculous to me. I added the iBeacon thing to stretch it further and the audio jack port moving idea as some contrived logic to make it sound believable. Like the strait man of the comedy sketch. When small numbers of people in my “circle” started commenting (I don’t know who they are) I played along with vague descriptions of how I would know about this.