Speculation about Apple’s plan to get rid of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 has elicited a wide range of reactions, from angry to optimistic. Some feel like the move is a pure cash grab, while others think it could shake-up the hearables market for the better.
A new report falls on the latter side of the argument, speculating that the wireless EarPods or AirPods might function like superpowered hearing aids. While smart earbuds such as Here and Dash offer features like wirefree streaming, fitness tracking and live listening, Apple’s potential product may go beyond those by providing holographic audio and superhuman hearing.
The technology for holographic audio is already present in iPhones in the form of CoreMotion. The framework delivers information from the gyroscope, magnetic compass and accelerometer to apps. Apple could endow the EarPods with this tool to allow for a new dimension in music, creating a virtual reality 360-degree experience for sound.
Holographic audio basically allows the music to move along with you. Present-day headphones are limited to offering the same sound from the right and left units no matter which way you’re facing. The advanced AirPods would change the audio being poured into your ear as if you were at a live concert, focusing on different instruments based on your position.
Cult of Mac suggests the CoreMotion-equipped earphones may also function as a pathway to an augmented-reality version of Siri. The assistant would then be aware of a user’s surroundings and provide information accordingly. For instance, the tool might specifically use the left earbud to inform you when you’ve arrived at your destination.
This augmented-reality sound could be integrated with noise cancellation abilities to allow you to control how much external audio you want to let in or block. Finally, the EarPods might pave the way for superhuman hearing by acting as a hearing aid. You’ll be able to hear people in noisy places without having to strain your ears.
Keep in mind speculation about the Apple EarPods are still at the rumor stage with nothing confirmed as yet. Still, it would be exciting to see some of the above features included in the iPhone 7.