"Bean" is Samsung's newly registered trademark for a new type of product — a set of wearable wireless earbuds that "incorporates software for measuring distance, speed, time, changes in heart rate, activity level, calories burned" and also play music.
It may be Samsung's preemptive answer to Apple's next AirPods, which are rumored to track different health markers.
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Unearthed by Dutch tech blog Letsgodigital, the Bean trademark covers "wearable wireless earsets primarily comprised of an MP3 player; wireless earsets incorporating a sensor for detecting whether the earset is on or off; wireless earsets incorporating software for providing a fitness guide; wireless earsets incorporating software for measuring distance, speed, time, changes in heart rate, activity level, calories burned; earphones."
If Bean is indeed a new set of fitness-oriented earbuds, they will mark Samsung's return to this market after the Samsung Gear X Icon, a waterproof device that can track your workouts.
However, this time it seems that Samsung may be aiming at turning your in-ear activity-tracking headphones into perfect health-tracking devices too.
Earbuds could be the perfect health tracking device
In fact, the Bean could be Samsung's bet on the health market. Since its Galaxy Watch Active 2 seems unable to dent the Apple Watch's overwhelming market dominance, it makes sense for Samsung to make a product that can compete without requiring people to spend a lot of money.
If the Korean company can pull off water- and sweat-resistant wireless earbuds that track your activity, heart rate and temperature, Samsung will have a chance of stealing some of the Apple Watch’s thunder. Presumably, a set of earbuds will be a lot cheaper than the Apple Watch while providing a lot of the same functionality.
Apple may be thinking along the same lines. As AppleInsider pointed out at the beginning of 2019, Apple has plenty of patents that hint at AirPods with health-tracking capabilities.
As our colleague Caitlin McGarry wrote last year explaining why she was skipping the latest AirPods, “the head is a prime place to measure vitals, particularly the ear” and “[N]ot everyone wants an Apple Watch, so adding some of those health-tracking capabilities to AirPods would make sense.”
As someone who likes Apple Watch's health features but has resisted the expense, I would certainly get a pair of health-tracking AirPods or Galaxy Beans.