Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Report: Apple planning more AirPods, HomePods

In a lead that only Christian Slater could love, Mark Gurman writes at Bloomberg about Apple’s audio roadmap:

Apple Inc. is about to pump up the volume on its audio-device strategy, planning higher-end AirPods, a new HomePod and studio-quality over-ear headphones for as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Word is that Apple not only is planning a second revision of the AirPods this fall to bring “Hey Siri” support, but also a subsequent version for next year that will add noise cancellation, better range, and water resistance to the mix as well. (Albeit, it sounds like, at a higher price point.)

Meanwhile, Apple’s rumored over-the-ear headphones, first thought to be appearing this fall, may also be scheduled for next year. And a new version of the HomePod is thought to be incoming as well, though Gurman provides no information about what might be different other than a shift in manufacturers.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of Gurman’s report, however, is this:

The company has also internally discussed adding biometric sensors to future AirPods, like a heart-rate monitor, to expand its health-related hardware offerings beyond the Apple Watch, another person said.

That makes a lot of sense, especially if there are measurements that aren’t available from the Watch or those that could be more accurate via the ear.1 More to the point, it suggests Apple taking a more focused aim at health, perhaps by harnessing a variety of technical products to produce a more holistic overall approach, especially since it considers both the AirPods and Apple Watches to be “wearables.” Makes you wonder what kind of health sensors might be included in eventual Apple glasses, doesn’t it?

  1. Temperature? There are plenty of ear-based thermometers out there… 
—Linked by Dan Moren

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