Apple Executive Hints at Using AirPods to Provide Users More Health Data

In a wide-ranging interview about Apple's work and progress in the field of health, the company's vice president of technology, Kevin Lynch, has hinted that Apple may someday use sensor fusion with AirPods to provide more health data to customers.

apple airpods pro snap
Currently, the iPhone and Apple Watch both utilize a wide array of sensors to provide users with health data and information independently. In addition, Apple also uses sensor fusion, which combines data from sensors onboard the Apple Watch and ‌iPhone‌ to provide users with a more comprehensive view of their health. In an interview with TechCrunch, Lynch has hinted that Apple may add AirPods to the process of sensor fusion to provide more health data to Apple users.

Perhaps one place to look for even more potential in terms of future health capabilities lies in sensor fusion, however. Walking steadiness is the result of not just the iPhone or the Apple Watch acting independently, but of what’s possible when the company can use them in combination. It’s another place where Apple’s tight integration of software and hardware give it an edge, and it multiplies as Apple’s ecosystem of devices, and the sensors they carry, continues to grow.

I ended our interview by asking Lynch about what kind of possibilities might open up when you consider that AirPods, too, contain their own sensors and gather different data that could complement that monitored by the iPhone and Apple Watch in terms of health.

“We already do sensor fusion across some devices today, and I think there’s all kinds of potential here,” he said.

The suggestion from Lynch lines up with reporting from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has said that Apple does plan to introduce health tracking for AirPods. More recently, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that the second-generation AirPods Pro, due for release next year, will include "updated motion sensors with a focus on fitness tracking."

During the remainder of the interview, Lynch also discusses new health features in iOS 15, such as Health Tracking and Walking Steadiness. The executive, who has led Apple Watch development, also discussed how the Apple Watch has evolved into an "intelligent guardian" for users' health.

Kevin Lynch and Apple's Deidre Caldbeck also joined YouTuber Rene Ritchie for an interview about the Apple Watch and health.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

WWPD Avatar
8 months ago
Earwax buildup warnings on your mobile devices.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
8 months ago
Very curious what would be the purpose of these sensors with the actual autonomy of AirPods. I wear my Apple Watch all day long, but I use my AirPods only a few hours a day. Not useful for health tracking in my sense
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
8 months ago

Very curious what would be the purpose of these sensors with the actual autonomy of AirPods. I wear my Apple Watch all day long, but I use my AirPods only a few hours a day. Not useful for health tracking in my sense
Exactly what I was gonna write. Like maybe only for workouts, really, if it can measure some other metric other than what a watch can do, otherwise the battery in the airpods does not last long, nor do you wear the airpods (or any other earphone or headphone) unless you're listening to audio content or talking on the phone.

Cramming more sensors into already such a tiny device will no doubt reduce battery life for it's main purpose, listening to audio.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
8 months ago
This is where $$$ is at. Person’s health data. This is what Apple is after
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rainshadow Avatar
8 months ago
Everyone noting temperature, balance, and alcohol content…

How about hearing? Regular, consistent hearing exams can help keep you informed about the impact of being in loud environments. Most people check their hearing never or 3+ years. If you could do a quick hearing test and get immediate results against the average age etc etc, it could be something employees could use to change employment conditions in factories because of the temporal association with the noted hearing loss.

Not saying temperature wouldn’t be important, but the lowest hanging fruit would be hearing exams…
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
honglong1976 Avatar
8 months ago

Easy. Body temperature measurements (ie fever). I’m really excited for this! Can’t wait for them to implement it.
And stability. The Airpods have a gyroscope. They can check out if you are walking straight or not. Helpful for back problems for example.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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