Mark Gurman of Bloomberg is reporting on the future of development for Apple’s AirPods:
[Apple] is working on a new version for release as soon as this year with an upgraded wireless chip, the people said. A subsequent model for as early as next year is planned to be water resistant, they added, asking not to be identified discussing private product plans…. The model coming as early as this year will let people summon Apple’s Siri digital assistant without physically tapping the headphones by saying “Hey Siri.”
Being able to activate Siri via voice makes sense. Given the AirPods’ nature (for now?) as an extension to another device, I’d imagine that all the upgrade would need to do is provide a low-power way to constantly be monitoring for the trigger phrase, at which point your iPhone or Apple Watch would be passed the actual contents of the Siri request for processing. Currently you have to trigger Siri by double-tapping on an earbud, but with support for “Hey Siri” you could control without touching the earbuds at all. (Upgraded water resistance makes sense, too, given that people sweat and run in all sorts of weather.)
I never expected to love AirPods, but I do. They’ve replaced wired in-ear monitors for just about everything for me except podcasting and locations where I need noise isolation (like on airplanes or when I’m mowing the lawn).