Apple’s Next-Gen AirPods Rumored to Feature Light Ambient Sensors For Improved Health Monitoring

Apple is increasingly taking the initiative to launch products with improved health features, and with the newest AirPods, it looks like the company is ready to take it to the next level.

According to DigiTimes, in the upcoming years, you might be able to get yourself a pair of AirPods that feature Ambient Light Sensors (ALS) to boost the efficiency of its health-monitoring features.

Benefits include heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level measurement

The light fitting in the AirPods can be shone through blood vessels, and based on the light that passes through the vessels, heart rate and pulse rate monitoring and blood oxygen levels measurement will be determined.

Another report from DigiTimes highlighted the purpose of these ALS sensors in more detail:

“ASE Technology is poised to apply its SESUB (semiconductor embedded in substrate)-based SiP packaging technology to next-generation TWS (true wireless stereo) earphones to be rolled out by Apple, after being contracted to handle high-end mmWave AiP (antenna in package) process for 5G iPhones and tablets, according to industry sources.

ASE has combined SiP with embedded AI design for TWS gears, allowing the devices to monitor heart rates, step counts and health conditions and even to conduct intelligent translation and detect head motions, the sources added.”

Although Apple experts have predicted that Apple AirPods could get extra fitness-related sensors with time, it mostly depends on the data the Apple health app can get. 

At the moment, Apple wearables can send heart rate as well as irregular rhythm notifications to the wearer. But, with the addition of the ALS sensors, newer features such as blood oxygen level measurement, sleep tracking, and even panic attack detection is possible. 

Keep in mind that there isn’t any confirmation on whether all these features will be supported by the new AirPods, but there’s a high possibility that some of these will be available.

ASE technology to manufacture the ALS Sensors

A report in DigiTimes (via MacRumours) also suggested that ASE Technology could be involved in producing the sensors. The fact that the production of these ambient light sensors is being ramped up also points towards the inclusion of the feature in the new wireless earbuds.

“Apple is expected to incorporate ambient light sensors (ALS) in next-generation ‌AirPods‌ devices in the coming 1-2 years, and Taiwan’s ASE Technology may handle the backend process for the new component, as it has moved to purchase more packaging machines, according to industry sources.”

Yes, you’ll need to wait for one to two years before the next-gen AirPods are made available. Then again, good things come to those who wait.

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