Apple itself has recognized the health potential of the AirPods, and has teased that it is an area in which it is investing heavily. now, bloomberg Reports indicate that we can expect Apple to launch new health features for AirPods sometime in the next year or two.
In the latest edition for him employment newsletter bloombergApple “intends to upgrade the AirPods to become a health gadget in the next year or two,” says Mark Gurman. In particular, he says that early features will include “the ability to get data of some kind.”
Gurman points out that AirPods already offer a feature called Live Listen, which launched as part of iOS 12 in 2018. Essentially, this feature turns your iPhone into a directional microphone, transmitting audio picked up by that iPhone to your AirPods in real time.
Live Listen, however, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In the future, this kind of regulatory approval is something Gorman speculates could happen:
I think Apple intends to upgrade the AirPods into a health gadget in the next year or two, with the ability to get hearing data of some kind. AirPods have long had a feature called Live Listen that can boost sound from across the room, making the earbuds feel like hearing aids.
This, of course, has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended to serve as a replacement for earphones. But given Apple’s goal to make health one of its next big initiatives, I wouldn’t be surprised if the AirPods eventually take on those functions more formally. This is something that will help tens of millions of people, if not more.
In an interview in 2021, Apple CEO Kevin Lynch acknowledged the health potential of the AirPods. “We’re already integrating sensors across some devices today,” he said, “and I think there’s all kinds of potential here.”
What kind of AirPods health features will eventually arrive remains to be seen. Regardless, Apple’s area of interest clearly aligns with Tim Cook’s overall goals.
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