Future AirPods could sport light sensors for health tracking

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A new generation of AirPods could sport built-in ambient light sensors (ALS), an addition that is likely to be used for health-related tracking purposes.

While the Apple Watch is currently Apple's flagship device for health, there have long been signs that the company was looking into bringing health tracking capabilities to its AirPods.

In a preview of a paywalled DigiTimes report, industry sources told the publication Apple would add ALS to a next-generation pair of AirPods in the "coming 1-2 years." Taiwan-based ASE Technology would handle the backend manufacturing process for the component.

According to a separate DigiTimes report on Monday, ASE Technology would be applying the same silicon packaging process to next-generation Apple earphones that it had for previous devices that can "monitor heart rates, step counts and health conditions and even to conduct intelligent translation and detect head motions."

In the past, Apple has filed patents for earphone health monitoring that would use light tomeasure heart rates.

In April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast that Apple would debut new third-generation AirPods in 2021 and newAirPods Pro in 2022. Other rumors suggest Apple could release a lower-cost version of AirPods Pro, as well as an over-ear pair of headphones potentially dubbed "AirPods Studio."

 
 

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