Apple could be looking to integrate light sensors into the next-generation AirPods.
A new report from Digitimes (via MacRumors) states that Apple is planning to fit ambient light sensors to future versions of the AirPods – sensors which could make them much more useful as health monitoring devices.
Apple could use light sensors in a new model of AirPods that’s supposedly arriving “in the coming 1-2 years.” Citing unnamed industry sources, another Digitimes report mentioned that these upcoming AirPods would use semiconductor embedded in substrate SiP packaging technology.
According to the report, ASE Technology has also been commissioned by Apple to handle high-end mmWave AiP (antenna in package) process for 5G iPhones and tablets.
Light can reportedly be shone through blood vessels to gauge heart rate and pulse rate, and to measure blood oxygen levels – the amount of light that passes through can be interpreted to determine these and other measurements.
As MacRumors points out though, the AirPods might need something of a redesign for this to work. It’s possible that the technology will have to wait until a new version of the PowerBeats Pro, with their attached ear clips, reach the market.
This is perhaps something to look out for in the 3rd-gen AirPods, tipped to be arriving at some point next year. Don’t be surprised if enhanced health and fitness tracking are among the key features included to tempt people to upgrade.