Just a few days ago, we featured a set of fitness tracking earbuds called The Dash. Now, a new patent has surfaced from Apple that locks down similar technology, citing "A hearing device, comprising: an audio output device configured to be positioned within a user's ear; a monitoring system located in substantially close proximity to the audio output device." Basically, it patents exactly what The Dash promises.

With rumors constantly circulating about Apple releasing some sort of smart watch, it's not a surprise that the company would be looking towards smart earbuds as well, with fitness-tracking products being all over the place lately.

The patent was actually filed back in October of 2007, but it was just granted on February 18, so this has clearly been on Apple's radar for a long time. The device, if it ever comes into existence, will be able to track metrics like temperature, heart rate, movement, and more.

Of course, Apple has no shortage of patents, and it's completely possible that the company might never do anything with this one; only time will tell.

Source: US Patent Office via Ubergizmo