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Apple may soon add infrared cameras to their AirPods

Infrared cameras could be Apple's latest attempt at integrating spatial audio to their devices

Apple’s AirPods may soon be getting built-in cameras, but not in the way you might expect. According to reporter and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be adding infrared camera modules to their AirPods line by 2026, in order for the earbuds to provide a greater spatial audio experience. Apple has been on a roll when it comes to implementing and prioritizing spatial audio experiences.

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Apple has already put an emphasis on spatial audio with their Vision Pro headset, and Kuo states that the new AirPods would be designed for use with the Vision Pro as well as “future Apple headsets.” Kuo explains that the idea is for users to be able to turn their heads while watching media on the Vision Pro, while the AirPods would adjust the audio maintain a sense of direction.

Kuo goes further to state that, since infrared cameras are able to detect environmental image changes, the AirPods could potentially enable gesture control, and that Apple has already filed patents regarding this kind of technology. Kuo speculates that the infrared cameras would likely be manufactured by Apple supplier Foxconn, who already manufactures similar cameras for the company’s line of iPhones.


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