Future AirPods to incorporate new sensors that may enable key health features
Future AirPods will incorporate ambient light sensors
The Taiwanese publication reports that Apple is planning to add "ambient light sensors" to upcoming versions of the earbuds within the next 1-2 years. The rumored 2021 AirPods and AirPods Pro could be the first to benefit from the upgrade.
ASE Technology has already been contracted to handle high-end mmWave technology for future 5G iPhones and iPads, according to industry sources. This latest effort would help solidify the relationship it has with Apple.
Heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring might be planned for AirPods
Bloomberg reported two years ago that Apple was looking into the possibility of launching a pair of AirPods that featured a built-in heart rate monitor. Such a product has yet to materialize, but health features still appear to be very much in the works.
By adding support to AirPods, Apple could open up its health features to a much wider audience. Whether the company can do so without drastically modifying the AirPods designs remains to be seen, though.
Other possible health features for AirPods include the ability to detect temperate and perspiration levels through skin contact. Apple has patented a solution that would enable these but is yet to implement it.
Other upgrades are also expected
Aside from health features, the next-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro are expected to offer a range of upgrades. These should include a new audio chip – Apple H2 – that improves the audio quality and range at which the wearables can be used.
Apple is said to be working on improvements to Siri as well. These should debut on the HomePod 2 and HomePod Mini later this year but are likely to be carried over to future AirPods and other products including the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.