Apple drops hint that the AirPods 2 will track your health

Cupertino updates trademark to cover wellness
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The AirPods have proved such a smash hit for Apple that a follow-up isn't so much a question of if, but when. And a new hint tells us that the AirPods 2 may have wellness sensors.

The folks at Patently Apple noticed that Apple has updated its AirPods trademark in Hong Kong and Europe with a new Class 10 designation, which applies to a device intended for general wellness.

Read this: The best Apple AirPods alternatives

That, according to the description, includes "health, fitness, exercise, and wellness sensors, monitors, speakers and displays for measuring, displaying, tracking, reporting, monitoring, storing, and transmitting biometric data, heart rate, body movement, and calories burned".

So this is another strong hint that the next AirPods will be more of a smart hearable, rather than just a pair of (very good) Bluetooth headphones. Or at least, one of the next AirPods; there's a possibility these health features won't make the next refresh.

Why so cautious? Earlier this year a report from Bloomberg claimed Apple was planning a big update to AirPods for 2019 that would add water resistance and noise cancellation. That said, the report also claimed we'd see a pair of AirPods in 2018 too - with a new W2 wireless chip - and that hasn't happened. With both the iPhone and iPad events now done, it seems unlikely we'll see anything new by Christmas.

So, who knows? But it's clear that Apple sees the AirPods as a new avenue for health, and why wouldn't it? The ear is a really good place for tracking heart rate - there's a lot of blood perfusion - much better than the wrist.

But Apple has clearly priced the first AirPods right, and biometric sensors will push the cost of its headphones up. Maybe we'll see all these rumored features wrapped into one refreshed pair in 2019. Here's hoping.

Apple drops hint that the AirPods 2 will track your health


How we test

Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

Related stories