Apple exploring use of AirPods as healthcare device: 5 details

Hannah Mitchell - Print  | 

From hearing aids to thermometers, Apple is researching how to put a healthcare twist on AirPods, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 13.

Five details:

  1. Potential uses for the wireless headphone include reading body temperature, enhancing hearing and monitoring the wearer's posture, the Journal reported.

  2. Apple is developing prototypes for AirPods to take the user's body temperature from inside their ear, according to the report. To monitor posture, Apple would use motion sensors in the AirPods to alert wearers of slouching, the Journal reported.

  3. Apple has not made it clear if the AirPods will have enhanced hearing features or be marketed as independent hearing aids, according to the report. About 28 million Americans have hearing loss, but just 5 percent use a hearing aid, according to an estimate from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  4. Nicolas Reed, an audiologist at Johns Hopkins, told the Journal that Apple's AirPods could potentially break the stigma that deters people from using hearing aids.

  5. Many people who use hearing aids may not be a match for AirPods if they don't have a battery life that lasts all day, the Journal reported.

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