After much speculation, a new rumor suggests that Apple is finally ready to bring biometric capabilities to its AirPod line of products. The next generation is expected to arrive in the second half of 2021, and could include a heart rate monitor in addition to other sensors.
Apple has tacitly hinted at the possibility of biometric ear pods on several occasions over the years, primarily through patent applications that have been made public. For example, a 2018 patent specifically referenced body temperature and heart rate monitors, while more recent patents have pointed to electrocardiogram (EKG) and impedance cardiography (ICG) sensors. Those rumors were then reinforced in May with reports of a new AirPod that would use ambient light sensors to support health applications and appeal to sports enthusiasts.
While there is still some uncertainty about the modalities, it seems increasingly clear that the next AirPod will offer some kind of biometric utility, and we may not have to wait too long to find out what those features will be. The latest rumors come from sources in Taiwan, and suggest that the next AirPod Pro is ready to enter production. Manufacturing responsibilities would be split between Luxshare Precision, Inventec, and GoerTek foundries.
Source: Patently Apple