Future Apple AirPods may soon come with health-related features. As per reports, Apple is working on AirPods that will be able to take the user's body temperature, serve as a hearing aid for people with hearing disabilities and help them correct their postures. The reports reveal that Apple is checking out possibilities of making the AirPods more useful than just play music. The features are currently being tested and could be launched by the end of next year.
A Wall Street Journal report states that Apple will not restrict health features to Apple Watch only, it is checking out the possibilities of adding health features such as body temperature monitor, hearing aid features and more. The report notes that it is not clear whether Apple "is developing specific new hearing-aid features for AirPods or wants to market the earbuds' existing hearing-improvement features as hearing aids. AirPods Pro, Apple's higher-end earbuds, already offer features to improve hearing, including "conversation boost," launched last week, that increases the volume and clarity of people in front of the wearer."
Apart from this, Apple is also working on new technology for iPhones to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline.
The WSJ report has revealed that Apple has collaborated with the University of California, Los Angeles and pharmaceutical company Biogen for the iPhone feature that would help in detecting depression and cognitive decline. It has been reported that Apple will utilise biometric data of users to tell them about their mental health condition.
A Wall Street Journal report notes that for the feature Apple may use sensor data that includes amount of sleep in a day, mobility, physical activities and how the user types on their phone to determine whether the user is suffering from depression or cognitive decline. Other data that Apple would use include facial expression analysis and heart rates using the powerful face scanning hardware in the iPhone.
In fact, the report notes that the feature is already undergoing testing. The University of California, Los Angeles is studying stress, anxiety and depression with Apple Watch and iPhone data for 3,000 users who have volunteered to be tracked in the study. Another study with pharmaceutical company Biogen is also part of the trial.
The Apple project in collaboration with UCLA has been codenamed "Seabreeze" while the other project with Biogen has been codenamed "Pi". The project was reportedly piloted in 2020, Apple recorded data of 150 users who had volunteered for Apple's special project.
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