Apple Planning To Bring AirPods With Cameras as Early as 2026

Apple’s AirPods might be getting a big upgrade in the coming years, with rumors stating they could pack built-in cameras by 2026. According to a recent supply chain survey, Apple is targeting mass production of these camera-equipped AirPods with a target launch around 2026.

The cameras are expected to use infrared (IR) technology, similar to the Face ID.

The camera-enabled AirPods could work with Apple’s Vision Pro and future AR/VR headsets, perhaps even with Apple Vision Lite. AirPods could work with these devices to enhance the spatial audio experience.

Foxconn is the new product introduction (NPI) supplier for the IR camera, with an annual capacity plan of 18–20 million units, or about 10 million AirPods. Actual demand and orders will depend on market conditions.

Ming Chi-Kuo

Think of it as watching a video with an Apple headset while wearing these AirPods—as you turn your head, the sound source in that direction could be more focused, which can create a more immersive experience.

Not just this, the IR cameras could enable mid-air gesture controls, which would allow users to change things in their devices through hand movements without needing to touch anything. This could be similar to the double-tap gesture on the Apple Watch.

It could look something like this.

Apple could create a powerful spatial computing ecosystem by integrating camera-equipped AirPods with its existing and upcoming AR/VR products.

I couldn’t have imagined Apple bringing up something like this, but it sounds like an excellent time ahead.

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