Apple is studying ways to turn AirPods into a healthy device, including to improve hearing, read body temperature and monitor posture, according to for documents Reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The plans also illustrate the company’s ambition to add health features to devices other than the Apple Watch, where most of the company’s health functions are located today.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple is also working on technology aimed at using iPhones to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline.
Features may include the use of earphones to measure the wearer’s temperature, monitor their posture and improve their hearing. The Wall Street Journal notes that it’s not clear if the latter functionality differs significantly from the conversation-boosting feature found in AirPods.
According to the Wall Street Journal, these jobs are not expected by next year, and may never be released to consumers, or the timing may change.
In other words, it appears that the iPhone manufacturer is only exploring these new health features, rather than actively integrating them with products that may come out in the next year or two.
The addition of such sensors makes sense for the company. And Apple increasingly markets its products based on the strength of its health and fitness apps. This is despite the fact that so far, most of this attention has focused on the Apple Watch.
Reports last month indicated that the company was looking into adding various sensors to the wearable, including monitoring blood pressure, temperature, sleep quality, blood oxygen and blood sugar.
Incorporating health features into commercial products is challenging work. This is mostly due to the difficulty of meeting high medical regulatory standards. This inevitably leads to delays.
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Apple explores AirPods that measure your temperature
It was reported in June, for example, that the next Apple Watch is adding temperature monitoring. But this functionality never appeared on the Apple Watch 7 back in September.
The Wall Street Journal report doesn’t include many details about the company’s plans for AirPods. It is a matter of Taking a temperature from someone’s ear is common. This is despite the fact that there are many devices on the market that use digital sensors to alert the wearer when they are slack.
And Apple has shown that it’s interested in using the AirPods as a hearing aid of sorts. This is despite the fact that the earphones are not approved for this purpose by the Food and Drug Administration.
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