Apple Airpods Can Be Powered With Built-In Camera: But Why?

Radhika Kajarekar

Radhika Kajarekar

Jul 04, 2024

In the future, Apple’s AirPods will include built-in cameras.

Apparently, the reason behind the inclusion of cameras in AirPods is spatial experiences.

Apple Airpods To Come With Built-In Cameras

Apple intends to put AirPods with infrared (IR) camera modules into mass manufacturing by 2026. These infrared cameras will resemble the iPhone’s Face ID cameras. These infrared camera modules are probably made by Foxconn, a significant Apple supplier.

These cameras will be able to identify changes in the surrounding image in order to provide new spatial audio experiences. The IR cameras will allow for new spatial audio experiences, as reported by Kuo.

The sound source in a video will be highlighted according to head direction when viewed with Vision Pro and AirPods enabled.

Apple places a strong focus on spatial audio in the majority of its devices. Spatial audio is a major selling factor for Apple Music, the company’s audio streaming service. 

Infrared Cameras To Detect Accurate Head Movements

Reports have stated that the AirPods’ infrared cameras will enable more accurate head movement tracking. The accurate head movement tracking will deliver more immersive audio experiences. It’s unclear if the additional functions will only work with Vision Pro or if they also apply to listening to pure audio.

Even without the IR cameras, iOS 18 will enable new functions in AirPods. There will be new head gestures included, like nodding and shaking the head to accept or reject a call.

Additionally, head tracking-enabled Personalized Spatial Audio will be made available for video games.

All new AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max owners will be able to use these additional functions. This autumn, these new functionalities will be widely accessible. These new features will be available when iOS 18 is released from beta.

Apple intends to place a focus on delivering improved spatial experiences through the utilization of the cameras in AirPods.

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Radhika Kajarekar
Radhika Kajarekar
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