It has been rumored that Apple is developing new AirPods with cameras. The infrared radiation (IR) cameras in the next AirPods will resemble those built into the iPhone Face ID receiver. According to reports, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s new true wireless stereo (TWS) will provide an improved spatial audio experience when paired with the Apple Vision Pro, its mixed-reality headset. The firm unveiled new AirPods features last month at WWDC, including gesture-based controls for interacting with Siri, head-tracking capabilities for gaming, and enhanced audio quality for voice conversations.

Apple is expected to release AirPods with cameras

“My latest supply chain survey indicates that Apple plans to mass-produce new AirPods with camera modules by 2026, featuring an IR camera similar to the iPhone Face ID receiver (not the transmitter),” TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a Medium post. Remarkably, a February story also alluded to AirPods sporting sophisticated sensors and cameras.

According to reports, the purpose of adding this additional feature to AirPods is to enhance the spatial audio experience when used in conjunction with the Vision Pro and any other future Apple headsets the firm may release. Users who wear the new earbuds and are watching a video on the mixed-reality headset are reportedly going to hear a louder or more emphasized audio from the sound source if they swivel their head in that direction. One description of the total effect is a more immersive experience.

The article claims that the AirPods’ infrared cameras will be able to recognize changes in the surrounding image. When a Vision Pro user moves their head and the video player’s orientation changes in an augmented reality or virtual reality environment, these will be able to detect it. It’s also said that the earbuds could support in-air motions for interacting with the gadget.