Apple’s Next-Gen AirPods Could Feature Light Ambient Sensors to Extend Health-Related Features


With the Apple Watch hosting a slew health features which will only increase over time, it looks like Apple wants to bring some of that functionality to its new AirPods. According to the latest report, in the next couple of years, a pair of AirPods could arrive boasting ambient light sensors that could be incorporated for health monitoring purposes. Unfortunately, if you were expecting them immediately, then don’t hold your breath, as the report says that the new wireless earbuds are still 1-2 years away.

Next-Generation AirPods Could Aid in Monitoring Heart Rate of Blood Oxygen Level, Features That Are Expected in the Apple Watch Series 6

In a paywalled report from DigiTimes that was spotted by MacRumors, ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors.

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“Apple is expected to incorporate ambient light sensors (ALS) in next-generation ‌AirPods‌ devices in the coming 1-2 years, and Taiwan's ASE Technology may handle the backend process for the new component, as it has moved to purchase more packaging machines, according to industry sources.”

Initially, it was unclear what purpose these ambient light sensors would serve, but MacRumors was able to get hold of another report from DigiTimes, which details the following.

“ASE Technology is poised to apply its SESUB (semiconductor embedded in substrate)-based SiP packaging technology to next-generation TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones to be rolled out by Apple, after being contracted to handle high-end mmWave AiP (antenna in package) process for 5G iPhones and tablets, according to industry sources.

ASE has combined SiP with embedded AI design for TWS gears, allowing the devices to monitor heart rates, step counts and health conditions and even to conduct intelligent translation and detect head motions, the sources added.”

So far, the Apple Watch can send heart rate, and irregular rhythm notifications to the wearer, and there’s a dedicated ECG app provided too. New features expected to arrive for the next-generation wearable include blood oxygen level measurement, sleep tracking, and it might even detect panic attacks. While it’s not expected that the new AirPods will immediately get support for these features, it might support some of them. It’s only a matter of time until we see what Apple has planned for its customers in the future.

One reason why the technology giant isn’t expected to launch new AirPods anytime soon is that it’s rumored to prep its over-ear headphones called AirPods Studio, which may start from $349 according to a previous leak. Looking at this expected release timeline, if you want to get Apple’s latest and greatest wireless earbuds, you have two options. Either you can purchase the AirPods Pro right away, or you wait a while and get access to new features courtesy of those next-generation AirPods.

News Source: DigiTimes