Apple Inc. is exploring ways to turn the Apple AirPods into a health gadget, including for boosting hearing, sensing body temperature, and monitoring posture.
The plans by the iPhone manufacturer show a desire for the AirPod redesign to expand into the health and wellness capabilities beyond the Apple Watch, which now houses the majority of the company's health functions.
Apple Unleashed Event 2021
The next Apple event will take place on Monday, October 18, at 10 a.m. PDT. It will be known as the Apple Unleashed event.
In comparison to the previous several pre-recorded events, the statement from the company indicated that Apple will broadcast from Apple Park, signaling a live event.
The Apple AirPods for health is expected to be presented during Apple's Unleashed Event 2021, which is predicted to be a Mac-focused event, according to MacRumors.
The updated Apple Airpods was rumored to be introduced together with the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 announcements last month.
Nevertheless, the redesigned AirPods were never mentioned. With that, Apple fans expressed dismay as the iPhone and Apple Watch are the perfect companions for AirPods, fueling expectations that they would be released soon.
However, Apple Unleashed Event 2021 has been confirmed as the final event of the tech giant for the year, which then pointed to the new AirPods being revealed alongside revamped MacBook Pros.
In addition, Apple is reportedly developing a technology that will utilize iPhones to diagnose depression and cognitive decline.
Apple Airpods as a Health Device?
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is still not clear whether the company is working on new hearing-aid capabilities for AirPods, or simply wants to sell the earphones' existing hearing-aid features.
Apple's high-end earbuds, the AirPods Pro, already have a hearing-aid function known as the "Conversation Boost," which was introduced last week. The function allows users to boost the volume and clarity of the voices of the people they are talking to.
It's also been reported that Apple is already working on prototypes for AirPods for health that will measure the wearer's core body temperature from within their ear. The thermometer would be Apple's second device addition, following a new wrist temperature sensor that is predicted to be included in next year's version of the Apple Watch.
Furthermore, the Apple AirPods would rely on motion sensors in the earbuds to inform users of slouching and encourage them to correct their posture.
Apple Airpods as Hearing Aids
Promoting Apple AirPods as hearing aids might help the tech giant reach a far wider audience.
Experts estimate that there is a huge number of people who suffer from mild hearing loss but opt to ignore and not treat it because of the mild state of their impairment.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is anticipated to complete a new set of regulations next year that would allow the direct sale of a new class of less expensive hearing aids to consumers to treat mild to moderate hearing loss.
Unfortunately, AirPods do not currently offer all-day battery life, which makes the device not very suitable for some hearing loss sufferers, who would be using the device the entire day to help them with their daily endeavors.
Moreover, Apple has been beaten to the hearing-aid market by competitor company Bose, a consumer electronics company that sells an FDA-approved hearing aid that users can customize base on their own preference.
Nevertheless, AirPods led the global Bluetooth headset market in 2020, generating $12.8 billion in revenue, which is five times more than that of its competitor Bose.
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