The next-generation AirPods will contain sensors to measure heart rate, according to a new Apple patent. Patent-tracking site Patently Apple has discovered a recently filed patent with USPTO that shows the new AirPods will feature a biometric sensor, though the details are scant on how it will work.
According to the patent, future versions of AirPods could come with biometric sensors, with at least one of them is pressed against the ear’s tragus. This will allow the sensors to keep a track on the heart rate.
“In some embodiments, the housing of the earbud can be symmetric so that the earbud can be worn interchangeably in either a left or a right ear of a user”, Apple wrote.
The company is also looking to add electrocardiogram (EKG) sensors, an impedance cardiography (ICG) sensor and a temperature sensor into the AirPods. This shows that Apple is looking to promote the AirPods not only as a great audio device but a fitness tracker as well.
Wireless ear-buds with biometric capabilities aren’t new. Last year, Jabra launched the Elite Sport earbuds with a built-in heart rate tracker and in-ear coaching. It seems as if Apple is looking to offer a similar type of wireless earbuds with a heart-rate tracker. This means that in the future users don’t need a fitness band to keep a track on their fitness progress.
It’s unknown if Apple intends to add biometric sensors in the AirPods and make it available to as many as iPhone users. But it does show that Apple is keen to expand the usage of the AirPods. The wireless, Bluetooth-enabled AirPods were first announced alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. They are smart wireless earbuds with the ability to listen to music, make calls, use Siri, and much more.
Apple AirPods are quite popular, despite being priced at $159 (or approx Rs. 10,336). Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster believes that AirPods will be “bigger than the Apple Watch” over the next decade.