Apple Working to Transform AirPods into Health Tool
Apple is looking to add new health-focused features to its AirPods line in the coming years, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that he believes Apple will “upgrade the AirPods to become a health tool in the next year or two,” adding “the ability to get hearing data of some sort.”
The AirPods already come with Live Listen and Conversation Boost, which boost audio from across a room and allow users to actively listen to their surroundings without effort. However, the features are not yet FDA approved or designed to serve as a hearing aid replacement.
The news follows analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's earlier prediction that Apple would add biometric health monitoring capabilities to future AirPods models. Apple has also filed multiple patents in recent years that hint at next-generation AirPods with biometric sensors, including an earbud-based fitness monitoring system that integrates an advanced biometric sensor to detect physiological metrics such as temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels, and more.
Apple's VP of technology Kevin Lynch also acknowledged the health potential of AirPods in an interview back in 2021, noting that the company already does sensor fusion across some devices and that there is all kinds of potential in the space.
It’s unclear when these health features will be available, but it’s likely we’ll see them as part of the next-generation AirPods, which are expected to start shipping in the second half of 2021 or the first half of 2022. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see what other features Apple will add to its AirPods to make them a more effective health tool.
0. “New health monitoring features powered by AirPods coming soon, ‘Bloomberg' says” 9to5Mac, 13 Mar. 2023, https://9to5mac.com/2023/03/13/airpods-health-features-coming-soon
1. “Gurman: AirPods to Gain Hearing Health Features Over the Next Two Years” MacRumors, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.macrumors.com/2023/03/12/gurman-airpods-to-gain-hearing-health-features/
2. “Future Versions Of Apple AirPods Tipped To Feature Health-Based Functions” Lowyat.NET, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.lowyat.net/2023/296241/future-versions-of-apple-airpods-tipped-to-feature-health-based-functions
3. “The AirPods could become Apple's next “health tool”” PhoneArena, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.phonearena.com/news/airpods-to-receive-health-features_id146146
4. “Apple wants to add hearing health features to AirPods” BGR, 13 Mar. 2023, https://bgr.com/tech/apple-wants-to-add-hearing-health-features-to-airpods-models