Apple may include new health-based features to its future AirPods, which are expected to debut in the next year or two. This is brought to light by reliable tipster and Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman via the latest edition of his “Power On” newsletter.
Apart from the vague description, nothing else was revealed regarding these features. However, Gurman’s information does corroborate with past patent findings, as well as rumours from other sources regarding similar technologies which Apple are allegedly mulling on implementing on its popular audio product.
On that subject, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Apple has been aiming to add biometric health monitoring capabilities to future AirPods models, which enables them to detect physiological metrics such as temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels and more. According to a patent filed by Apple that was discovered by AppleInsider back in 2016, this is achievable through integrated advanced biometric sensors that are able to gather data through skin contact and motion detection.
In addition, implementations of such technologies onto AirPods were also hinted by Apple vice president of technology Kevin Lynch. In an interview with TechCrunch back in 2021, he revealed that the company may add its audio products to the process of sensor fusion to provide more health data to its users. “We already do sensor fusion across some devices today, and I think there’s all kinds of potential here,” Lynch added.
If Gurman’s tip is accurate, the newer additions would supplement existing AirPods functions such as Live Listen and Conversation Boost. Interestingly, while both of these features are capable of helping those with hearing impairments, neither one have actually been officially approved to function as hearing aid replacements.
On that note, certain health tracking abilities will still need to undergo evaluation by authorities such as the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Malaysia’s own Medical Device Authority Register (MDAR) before they are allowed to be accessed by users. As you may recall, the ECG functions on both Apple and Samsung smartwatches only received their approvals in Malaysia years after their respective introductions, which means that it could also take a while before Airpods users are able to utilise these allegedly upcoming health-based features.
(Source: Mark Gurman / MacRumors / AppleInsider / TechCrunch)
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