by Joe White
May 10, 2013
One 14-year-old Apple fan has discovered that a Smart Cover-equipped iPad, if left resting on its owner's chest, can "accidentally turn off" implanted defibrillators. From what we understand, the cause of the interference has been attributed to the 21 small magnets that line the sides of Apple's Smart Covers. Gianna Chien discovered the flaw while undertaking research for a science fair project. She will now present her work to some 8,000 doctors at a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver, Colo. As Bloomberg reports:
The research offers a valuable warning for people with implanted defibrillators, which deliver an electric shock to restart a stopped heart, said John Day, head of heart-rhythm services at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, and chairman of the panel that reviews scientific papers to be presented at the Denver meeting. If a person falls asleep with the iPad2 on the chest, the magnets in the cover can “accidentally turn off” the heart device, said Chien, a high school freshman in Stockton, California, whose father is a doctor. “I definitely think people should be aware. That’s why I’m presenting the study. [sic]Chien's study shows that around 30 percent of iPad users encounter issues with their implanted defibrillators when a Smart Cover-equipped iPad 2 is held close to their chest. While the defibrillators return to normal functionality once the tablet is taken away, this issue nevertheless poses a series health threat to those unaware. For a video outlining the issue, take a look at Bloomberg's original article. Alternatively, for further industry news, see: Apple Wins "iBooks" Trademark Lawsuit, Will Continue To Use The Name, Amazon Could Launch Two Kindle Phones Plus A New Streaming Music Device, and YouTube To Begin Offering Premium Channels.