AirPods say they will get more hearing health features in the future
Apple’s AirPods, already capable of acting as makeshift hearing aids, look set to gain some handy health features, according to a new report.
serial drama Statement from Apple leaker Mark Gurman The Cupertino company plans to “upgrade the true wireless earbuds into a health tool within the next year or two” and add “the ability to capture some kind of hearing data.”
While AirPods already offer features such as Live Listen and Conversation Boost for the hearing impaired, these features have not been officially approved by any international health regulator, such as the FDA.
Apple never explicitly advertised AirPods as a potential hearing aid replacement, but Gurman claimed in his article boot blog The company plans to recognize these features “more formally” in the near future.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen reports that Apple wants to expand the use of AirPods beyond audio playback and into the world of health monitoring devices.
Back in 2020, there were rumors that future AirPod designs would feature ambient light sensors that could measure blood oxygen levels.
Meanwhile, a recent Apple patent application also details an earbud-based fitness monitoring system that would use biometric sensors to detect temperature, heart rate, perspiration levels, and more through skin contact and built-in motion sensors.
Analysis: Future feature could bring health benefits to all AirPod users
From offering help improving yoga postures to cardiorespiratory monitoring, the storied AirPods could soon rival the Apple Watch in health features, if a spate of leaks and patent-pending patents are any indication.
Gurman didn’t speculate on what hearing data the new feature will be able to collect, but we suspect the headphones could be used in conjunction with an iPhone for some sort of standardized hearing test.
What’s also encouraging about these rumored new features is that they might not be limited to the upcoming AirPods. Current models already have speakers and microphones, which means this new health intelligence can be added to existing headphones via a firmware update.