According to a new DigiTimes report, Apple is planning on adding ambient light sensors (ALS) to a future generation of its popular AirPod wireless headphones.
Though this new report speculates that the ALS tech in these future AirPods may be health-related, adding to Apple’s growing lineup of biometrically enabled health-focused wearables, it is very similar to news that broke last October based on a patent that Apple filed. That patent mentioned more than one biometric sensor embedded within the earbud that would gather various health-related metrics, including a PPG light sensor (that could measure blood volume) as well as an electrocardiogram (EKG) sensor.
Despite the similarities between the two reports, it should be noted that the October patent mentioned earbuds in a wired format, suggesting that perhaps that particular product would be a new health-focused one rather than an iteration of the wireless AirPods.
Considering how much of a focus Apple has placed on healthcare and biometrics in recent years, it is reasonable to assume the tech giant would look at ways of including some health-related features in another one of its products.
The fact that we have seen Apple file a number of patents that feature earbuds with various biometric sensors would seem to point to that being the case, but it’s also important to keep in mind that — as is the case with any patent — this may never actually result in a product that makes its way to market.