Apple is expected to work on integrating a fitness tracking ability with AirPods as hinted in the company's newly granted patents. Based on initial details of the patent, the wireless earphones could do more than keeping tabs on a user's heart rate.
Patently Apple published Tuesday a report detailing Apple's new set of patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Of the 43 new patents, the AirPods for fitness stood out from the bunch as Apple will be expanding it.
The AirPods with fitness tracking ability could monitor more than just the heart rate and body temperature. Various reports said this technology could include sensors for electrocardiogram, impedance cardiograph, and galvanic skin response. If this holds true, the next-generation AirPods are set to become one of Apple's most powerful devices. However, it is still early to speculate.
The granted patent stated that the company is looking into a framework with "a symmetric geometry that allows the earbud to be worn and operated interchangeably in either ear of a user".
However, there are no details available yet which devices can connect to it. Regardless, Apple is expected to use a third-party support—iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, and MacBook—to make it fully functional on the ground. The fitness-tracking AirPods could well be targeted at athletes, sports enthusiasts, and fitness buffs.
Apple has been doubling down on its hard work to provide both its current and prospective consumers a platform to fulfil their health and fitness needs through wearable devices. The company used a top of the line biometric motion scanner for Apple Watch to provide the user more details on a body's activities and go beyond just counting how many steps it has taken.
In the software department, Apple bought sleep-tracking app Beddit from the Finnish developer of the same name in May. The acquisition has been seen in the industry as a bold move by Apple as part of its growing venture into the health market.