Apple will launch new AirPods featuring infrared cameras to improve spatial experiences with the Vision Pro headset, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In a post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple plans to mass-produce new AirPods with integrated IR camera modules by 2026. These IR cameras will apparently be similar to the iPhone‘s Face ID receiver.

The purpose of IR cameras on AirPods is related to Apple Vision Pro and future headsets from the company, enhancing the spatial computing and audio experience. The IR cameras can detect environmental image changes, facilitating a broader range of gestures to improve user interaction. For example, if a user watches a video using ‌Apple Vision Pro‌ and the new AirPods, and turns their head to look in a specific direction, the sound source in that direction can be “emphasized to enhance the spatial audio/computing experience.”

Foxconn is said to be the supplier of the new IR component, with the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer preparing to provide enough parts for about 10 million AirPods initially. It is not clear which AirPods model is likely to get the feature first, but the AirPods Pro may be most likely since they already offer lossless audio exclusively with the Vision Pro.

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