What if the AirPods can be used for more than music and calls?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is exploring ways to expand its earbuds' capabilities, turning them into a health device. This means the AirPods could soon be used as a hearing aid, an in-ear thermometer, and a monitor for posture.
These plans show the tech giant's ambition to add health and wellness features to its other devices besides the Apple Watch. In September, the company has been said to be working on an iPhone feature that will detect symptoms of depression, anxiety, or cognitive decline.
Based on documents reviewed by WSJ, Apple is already developing AirPods prototypes that can take a user's temperature from inside their ear.
To detect posture, the earbuds would use motion sensors and alert wearers if they're slouching, the documents said.
It's also not clear if the iPhone maker will develop different tech to improve hearing. Last Oct. 6, Apple rolled out a Conversation Boost feature which will boost the volume of the voice of a person talking in front of you.
Unfortunately, these proposed features "aren't expected by next year and might never be rolled out to consumers or the timing could change," WSJ reported.
Currently, Apple has several AirPods in the market, including the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and the over-ear AirPods Max. New AirPods 3 earbuds are expected to launch alongside the upcoming MacBooks on Oct. 18.