According to a new Bloomberg report, Apple’s high-end AirPods Pro True Wireless earbuds can be refreshed in 2022 which gives them the ability to track your workouts.
The report also reiterates previous claims that Apple is preparing a new, entry-level set of AirPods later in 2021 that will borrow their design from the current AirPods Pro.
Citing “people with knowledge of the matter”, Bloomberg claims that the next AirPods Pro will include updated motion sensors with a focus on fitness tracking.
Adding fitness tracking to AirPods Pro would be a logical step for Apple. The company has a long history of fitness-focused facilities that go back to 2006 when it launched the Naik + partnership. Nike + noticed that Nike’s running shoes include small sensors that can send activity data back to the iPod Nano or iPhone.
Since then, Apple has significantly expanded its fitness offering through the Apple Watch, which has several sensors to track steps, heart rate, and even blood oxygen levels. These fitness features eventually led to the Apple Fitness + subscription service, which lets people follow expert-led workout routines on any iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV with tracking provided by the Apple Watch.
But the Apple Watch remains a very expensive device and not everyone who wants to take advantage of Apple Fitness + owns Apple’s smartwatch.
Embedding additional sensors in AirPods Pro can eliminate the need for an Apple Watch, or combine two sources of data to make the current Apple Watch more accurate.
Embedding fitness sensors inside earbuds is hardly new. Jabra’s Elite Sport True Wireless earbuds, which debuted in 2017, have built-in heart rate monitors, and Samsung and Bose have had similar technology earbuds in the past. Recently, Amazon has added basic activity tracking to its second-gen Amazon Echo Buds.
But it is not the sensor that matters as much as what people can do with the data that these sensors capture. At the same time, Apple has a distinct advantage. Whether you use a fitness app built into iOS, or go with a subscription-based Apple Fitness + service, Apple has developed a full suite of software and services that help fitness fans learn about their overall health and the progress of their personal goals Can give a broader view.