According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on higher-tech pair of AirPods that’ll ingrain health features into the headphones that can determine when your posture is askew, tell you if you have a fever, and act as a medically certified hearing aid cleared by government agencies.
On the topic of posture, WSJ claims internal Apple documents show the company testing the use of tiny motion sensors to track whether or not a user is standing or sitting up straight. If not, they’ll presumably be notified in the Health app and potentially even be able to be notified in their ear when their back begins to arch.
As for an in-ear thermometer, the Cupertino-based company has been longly rumoured to be adding a temperature sensor on the wrist in an upcoming Apple Watch revision, perhaps even as soon as next year’s Series 8 model.
A move towards an additional monitor in your ear doesn’t seem all too far fetched, especially considering most medical thermometers sold at health stores today use the in-ear method.
Regarding health-centric AirPods, however, the WSJ report notes that none of these features are even expected “next year”, so we’ll have to pin 2023 as the earliest before getting some truly high-health headphones.
There’s also mention of Apple seeking official government agency approval on classifying a future pair of AirPods as hearing aids that treat mild to moderate hearing loss.
At the moment, the main target for the company is FDA clearance. However, archaic laws surrounding the certification of hearing aid devices in the United States is currently being reviewed by the federal government, with the hope that sometime in the next 24 months, new regulations allow for Apple to seek approval.