Honor has announced Earbuds 3 Pro that come with integrated temperature monitoring technology, a feature that has also reportedly been tested by Apple in AirPods prototypes.
Market interest in building temperature measuring functions into earbuds has been mooted for some time now, as it could be useful for fertility tracking, keeping track of sleep, and in the future, it could also detect when a user has a fever.
Honor’s $199 buds include a temperature sensor that combines with an AI temperature algorithm and can take a measurement that has about an 80% chance of achieving a ±0.3 degrees Celcius or less error, according to the company.
Tapping three times on the earbud can start a measurement, and a continuous measurement function is available. The Earbuds 3 Pro also feature an “abnormal temperature alert,” although Honor’s marketing materials stress that they are not for any medical purpose and still need to pass regulatory hurdles.
The earbuds hark back to an October 2021 report by The Wall Street Journal that claimed Apple is developing prototypes of AirPods with temperature sensors for monitoring a wearer’s core body temperature from inside the ear.
The report noted that these in-ear temperature sensors could work in tandem with a rumored temperature sensor that could be included in this year’s Apple Watch Series 8. However, individuals said to be familiar with Apple’s plans told the The Wall Street Journal that AirPods with said health features are not expected to launch in 2022, and may never be released.
Honor unveiled its new noise-canceling Earbuds 3 Pro at MWC 2022 alongside its Magic 4 series of smartphones, “Pro” variants of which can be fast-charged wirelessly at 100W, allowing the phones to be charged to 50% in just 15 minutes. The Chinese company said it hoped to release its new products globally, but whether they will actually arrive in the US anytime is unknown.3esr