Experts are sure that the Apple AirPods should transform from classic wireless headphones into health gadgets. With sensors for hearing tests and temperature measurement, they could define the company’s health portfolio in the future apart from the Apple Watch.
Apple is rumored to be working on a new hearing test feature for AirPods that could allow determining how well a person can hear. And that by simply playing special tones and noises. “The idea is to help users diagnose hearing problems, much like the Apple Watch’s ECG app does for heart problems,” says the often well-informed Apple expert and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman.
It is not yet known whether a new AirPods generation is required for this or whether existing models could also be supplemented with those functions. After all, Apple already offers various tools with software features such as “Conversation Boost” and “Live Lists”.
Apart from that, the company should check whether you can position yourself as a hearing aid with its Truly Wireless headphones in the future. According to Gurman, this is a large market with annual US sales of 10 billion US dollars, which could well be “reinvented”.
Fever detection via temperature sensors
Apple is also said to be working on new AirPods sensors that are able to determine the body temperature of the user in the ear. A measurement in the ear canal could be significantly more precise than that of the Apple Watch Series 8 on the wrist, which is currently primarily used to monitor fertility. In the future, however, one would also like to recognize colds and other illnesses using the data collected by sensors.
Gurman reckons the planned health features for AirPods could be several months or even years away. After all, Apple is currently assuming a three-year upgrade cycle for AirPods. Most recently, the AirPods Pro was updated in 2022, and the regular AirPods in 2021. Major innovations are therefore expected in 2024 and 2025 in particular.
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