Apple AirPods to get hands-free 'Hey Siri' feature, water resistance: Report

The AirPods will come with a new wireless chip that will allow you to directly summon Siri without tapping on the device.

  • Published: February 22, 2018 6:39 PM IST

Apple has a detailed upgrade plan for its wireless AirPods. The company reportedly plans to add a new wireless chip to the AirPods this year, and add water resistant capabilities, allowing you to take a walk in the rain with music still playing in your ears.

Sources told Bloomberg that Apple is looking at upgrading its AirPods with new hardware features. The updated version, which will be released this year, is speculated to include a new wireless chip that will allow you to summon Siri by simply calling out instead of physically tapping the headphones. If true, this will make the interaction seamless than before and make AirPods truly hands-free.

According to the report, the function will work similar to how you summon the digital assistant on an iPhone or HomePod speaker – just by simply saying, “Hey Siri”. This version of the AirPods is internally known as B288, and will include the new Apple-designed wireless chip for managing Bluetooth connections as well.

Now, coming to the second major upgrade to the AirPods; Apple is aiming to make the wireless earphones survive against splashes of water and rain. It is unlikely that they will be designed to survive a dip in the pool. This could be due to the very design flaw of the AirPods, which makes them prone to getting lost if submerged in water.

Despite the social media mockery the AirPods received, rival brands followed suit and introduced their own versions of truly wireless earphones. From Google, Sony to Bose, brands introduced similar products, but could not match the 85 percent money spent on the AirPods in the US since they debuted.

As wearables continue to be the second-most popular category after smartphones, it but makes sense for Apple to raise the bar a bit higher with the next-gen AirPods. At the time of the iPhone X launch, Apple announced the all-new AirPods case that allows the earphones to be recharged wirelessly. With improved hardware, AirPods will continue to be part of Apple’s fastest-growing division, which also include the Apple TV and Apple Watch.

  • Published Date: February 22, 2018 6:39 PM IST