AirPods May Get Cameras

Apple Rumored to Develop AI Glasses and Camera-Equipped AirPods

Photographer: Jianlei Fan

Interface News Journalist: Xiao Chen She

Interface News Editor: Jianan Song

Apple’s next generation of wearable devices may feature AI glasses and AirPods with built-in cameras.

On February 26th, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple is exploring the development of these two products internally.

Gurman suggests that the Apple smart glasses could either be a replacement for AirPods, with additional sensors, AI capabilities, and longer-lasting batteries.

He estimates that these smart glasses will be cheaper than the Vision Pro but not equivalent to Apple’s efforts in creating AR glasses with high-quality transparent displays. The smart glasses resemble more the Meta Ray-Bans smart glasses, equipped with cameras and an AI assistant that users can interact with without a display.

The article also mentions that since last year, Apple has been researching AirPods with cameras under the codename “B798”. These earbuds are almost the same size as the current AirPods, but with an embedded low-resolution camera. The camera can be used for taking photos and offers various AI functions to assist users in their daily lives.

Wearable devices have become the most anticipated hardware in the tech industry. According to a report by IDC, in the third quarter of 2023, global shipments of wearable devices reached 150 million units, a 2.6% year-on-year increase and the highest shipment volume since 2021.

IDC analysis attributes this growth to the rapid development of small brands and emerging categories like smart rings with smaller, more fashionable designs, gaining attention from various sectors. Additionally, the introduction of new products by more brands has brought freshness to the market.

In the Chinese market, wearable device shipments reached 34.7 million units in the third quarter of 2023, showing a 7.5% year-on-year growth trend.

At the recently opened MWC 2024 (Mobile World Congress), South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung showcased for the first time its smart ring, the Galaxy Ring. The company claims this AI-based smart product provides a completely different interactive experience compared to other smart devices.

The official launch of this product is expected within 2024. As a new category in the wearable device field, the smart ring’s potential functions include health monitoring, activity tracking, message notifications, NFC, and more.

Earlier this year, a research report by West Securities indicated that as leading smartphone brands enter the smart ring market, it signifies their recognition of this emerging wearable technology. With the impetus from major smartphone manufacturers, the smart ring industry is expected to experience accelerated growth, with 2024 possibly becoming a breakthrough year.

With the rise of generative AI, lightweight wearable devices integrated with AI have become one of the most intriguing product directions for many tech companies.

In November last year, former Apple designers and engineers showcased their AI hardware innovation, the AI Pin. This intelligent “pin” can be placed in a pocket or worn on clothing, featuring network connectivity, voice control, and embedded technologies like microphones and cameras.

Clearly, Apple is seizing this new opportunity, and its investment in wearable devices is rapidly advancing.

A week ago, according to the Electronic Times, Apple’s progress in smart ring development has reached a commercialization stage, and the time until market launch won’t be long. However, the success of such new devices will ultimately depend on their level of attractiveness to users.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.