Apple is advancing its pursuit of innovative health technology and plans to integrate this vision into its range of audio products. As reported by Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter, the tech giant is actively developing groundbreaking health features, intended to transform its AirPods from simple audio accessories to health monitoring tools.
The primary feature under development will equip the AirPods with the ability to conduct comprehensive hearing tests. The integration of this health feature into the earbuds would possibly eliminate the requirement for third-party applications currently offering this service. This novel move falls in line with Apple’s notorious strategy of integrating third-party features directly into its devices, colloquially known as “Sherlocking.”
Simultaneously, the company is laying the groundwork to promote the AirPods Pro as a hearing aid. Aided by recent legislative changes by the FDA, the over-the-counter purchase of hearing aids is now more accessible to Americans. To facilitate this initiative, Apple has brought on board engineers who possess extensive experience with traditional hearing aids.
In addition to these, the tech titan is also exploring the integration of a body temperature measurement feature in the earbuds. With this proposed feature, the earbuds could possibly provide more accurate readings compared to wrist-based sensors found in the current Apple Watches, due to the ear canal’s more consistent body temperature readings.
It’s essential to note, however, that these ambitious health features are not imminent; they could be several months or even years from being commercially available. In the interim, Apple’s focus remains on refining existing products.
As part of this strategy, the AirPods Pro is set for an upgrade with a new USB-C charging case. This planned upgrade aligns with the new common charging standard imposed by the EU, marking a significant shift from the current Lightning charging method. Over time, Apple intends to gradually phase out the Lightning charging method across all its audio products.
In tandem with the upcoming iOS 17 update, Apple users can look forward to a range of new software features. Highlights of these upgrades include the introduction of a mute button for calls and significant enhancements to device switching.
Finally, Gurman speculates that Apple might lower the price of its second-generation AirPods to an enticing $99, making them more competitive against affordable alternatives from tech rivals like Samsung, Sony, and Amazon. This move could potentially expand Apple’s consumer base by making its high-quality audio products more accessible to a broader audience.
In conclusion, Apple’s latest developments signal a commitment to evolving its audio products beyond their conventional role. The integration of health monitoring features in devices like the AirPods is an indication of the tech giant’s vision for a healthier future.