AirPods update may offer future health and fitness features— Apple hints

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Apple looks set to provide more health and fitness tracking features in a future update for its AirPods and AirPods Pro, according to Apple executive Kevin Lynch in a recent interview.

Lynch, Apple's vice president of technology, discussed the latest health and fitness features introduced at WWDC 2021, including iOS 15's Walking Steadiness and Health Tracking. Talking with TechCrunch, he notes that future health functions lies in "sensor fusion."

Apple's devices such as the iPhone and Apple Watch are used in combination to provide users more health and fitness data, including the upcoming walking steadiness feature. Currently, AirPods don't  use sensor fusion with other devices, to track health and fitness data. However, Lynch hints an updated pair of AirPods could bring more to the table.

After being asked how the AirPods could also retrieve data to contribute to sensor fusion with other Apple devices, Lynch states the tech giant "already do sensor fusion across some devices today, and I think there’s all kinds of potential here."

While Lynch offered no official announcement that AirPods will gain more health and fitness capabilities, recent reports indicate the rumored Apple AirPods Pro 2 will be more fitness-focused.

The second-gen earbuds will apparently feature “ambient light sensors”  which will be able to measure your blood oxygen levels and detect your heart rate. While the Apple Watch can already retrieve this data, Lynch's sensor fusion suggestion indicates the new AirPods could support the health and fitness information obtained.

Whether the health and fitness features will arrive in a new AirPods update or be new capabilities only for the AirPods Pro 2, we're not sure. However, Apple appears to be going all-in with health and fitness, with Apple Watch 2022 models expected to introduce a body temperature sensor and a model for "extreme sport athletes."

Speaking of earbuds, Apple recently released a new pair of earbuds, and you can find out if you're keen on them or not in our Beats Studio Buds review.

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.