New AirPods With Health-Monitoring Features Expected in First Half of 2019: Digitimes

Updated AirPods are supposedly on their way in the first half of 2019 featuring new health-monitoring functions that are “expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.”

Apple could update its AirPods wireless headphones as soon as the first half of this year, a new report from Taiwanese supply chain-based publication Digitimes claims. The updated headphones are expected to feature health monitoring functions, a move that would shift the product away from a simple audio player and more into an all-encompassing wearable.

“In terms of wireless headsets,” reads the report,” Apple is set to release AirPods 2 sometime in the first half of 2019, and the new wireless earbuds with discrete designs to carry health monitoring functions are expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.”

The AirPods could also improve on the audio aspect in a number of ways. Apple could also potentially include water resistance, as well as the ability to function from a further distance than the current models, which use a W1 chip to connect over Bluetooth 4.0. Alongside the health monitoring features, Apple could also include noise cancellation and wireless charging via the case.

Ever since Apple unveiled plans to launch a universal wireless charging product of its own that would work with iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, it became clear that Apple is developing a new AirPods product due to the fact that the case of the current model can’t be charged wirelessly. However, Apple never got to launching AirPower, and it’s unclear when the device will hit markets. Also, it’s unclear whether Apple is waiting for AirPower to be ready before bringing AirPods 2 to market.

The upgrade would be the first major revision of the product since its launch in December 2016, and it comes as the wearables market is seeing big growth. The DigiTimes report states that revenue from Apple’s two wearable products, AirPods and the Apple Watch, grew 50 percent year-over-year in 2018.