Apple is exploring adding health-focused features to future versions of AirPods Pro, including sensors that measure body temperature. The company also is working on features that would make the earbuds a viable hearing aid replacement, including an advanced hearing test to evaluate the wearer’s capabilities.
Apple also reportedly plans to transition the AirPods Pro’s charging case from Lightning to USB-C this year. This could happen alongside the iPhone 15 series in September.
Apple explores several health features for AirPods
In the Sunday edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman shared Apple’s future roadmap for the AirPods. The company wants to position AirPods as a hearing aid replacement. It has hired engineers from traditional hearing aid companies to boost its research in this area.
Additionally, engineers inside Apple are working on adding sensors to the AirPods that can determine the wearer’s body temperature. This data will be more accurate than the wrist-based temperature the latest Apple Watches can read. More accurate temperature data could allow Apple to detect certain illnesses.
Reportedly, Apple is working on a hearing test feature for the AirPods as well that plays different tones to find out how good a person’s hearing is. But these changes are still in the research phase, and it could take years before they debut on the AirPods.
New AirPods Pro charging case with USB-C could debut later this year
Much closer, Apple apparently plans to update the AirPods Pro 2 charging case with USB-C in 2023. (Rumors suggest the iPhone lineup will transition to USB-C this year, ditching Lightning for good.) But Gurman’s sources claim there won’t be any other hardware upgrades to the next-gen AirPods Pro.
Given the AirPods Pro 2 launched in 2022, this makes sense. Changing the charging method could benefit current owners, who potentially might buy a USB-C case if they needed a replacement (or wanted a charging upgrade). Other Apple products likely will transition to USB-C in the coming years.