After a year of inactivity, it appears that Apple's going to spend the next two years improving the AirPods, adding major features such as voice-activated controls and water resistance.
According to a Bloomberg report citing a source familiar with the project, a 2018 AirPod refresh will add the power to summon Siri with your voice (you currently need to tap an AirPod to talk to the assistant).
The AirPods with water resistance are planned for "as early as next year," according to the source. Specifically, the source claimed that the intent for this water-resistant model is for survival from "splashes of water and rain." The original AirPods weren't marketed as water-resistant, but they did survive a dip in a washing machine shortly after launch.
This year's model will also feature "an upgraded wireless chip," which could further tighten Apple's dominance in this market. The W1 chip in the current AirPods (and select models of Apple's Beats headphones) already gives Apple a significant competitive advantage, with greater stability and easier connectivity than others get without it.
Apple shoring up its dominance in this space is important, considering the difficulties the HomePod faces entering a category dominated by Amazon and its Alexa speakers. A report from the research from NPD Group estimated that Apple's AirPods accounted for 85 percent of completely-wireless headphone sales in the U.S. (between their Dec. 2016 release and Aug. 2017).