Apple awarded patent to use iPhone, smartwatch as carbon monoxide detector

Apple was granted a patent that outlines how it might equip its products with sensors that detect poisonous gasses, such as carbon monoxide, 9to5Mac reports.

Three things to know:

1. CO is often called a silent killer because of its odorless, tasteless, yet toxic nature. The patent notes the device could also be designed to detect other dangerous gasses, including methane and sulfur dioxide.

2. The patent diagrams a "miniature gas sensing device encased in an enclosure," such as the Apple Watch, according to 9to5Mac. Apple could also equip its other products, such as the iPhone or iPad, with the sensor.

3. One issue with adding a feature like this to the Apple Watch is that, unlike the smartwatch, most carbon monoxide detectors aren't water-resistant, according to 9to5Mac.

"It wouldn't be surprising to see the next Apple Watch feature gas-detecting abilities — again, provided water-resistance isn't impaired," the report states. "Though water-resistant smoke detectors do exist, they're of course generally bulky and will require some significant shrinking before implementation into any wrist watch wearable or smartphone."

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