Apple Just Got Granted With Patent for Killer Headphone-Speaker Hybrid and It Might Become the Next-Generation AirPodsBy Aria Hale
Apple has done it again with a possible future AirPods design. An Apple headphone-speaker hybrid patent was just granted and it promises more than just being headphones in "dual-mode."
Just yesterday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted an Apple headphone-speaker hybrid patent. It was filed in May 2011 by Edward C. Hyatt for Apple, Inc. and according to the document uploaded on USPTO's Patent Full-Text Database, the dual-mode headphones were designed with the importance of both portability and reliability in mind.
Further detailed on the patent document, it was observed that in certain situations - such as when listening to music - users are more into using headphones even if they can use speakers to allow others to listen in at the same time. This will then require users to carry both headphones and speakers, which can be daunting if a user travels all the time; or just rely on built-in speakers, which can affect the sound quality as compared to having a proper set of speakers connected to the device.
Thus, the dual-mode headphones were proposed. As simplified on AppleInsider, its design consists of a basic over-ear with specialized sensors and amplified circuitry that allows it to become a stand-alone speaker anytime. Aside from that, its volume control is powered by onboard sensors and can be determined via its position and location on a user. It can even activate speaker mode by just flipping the ear part outward or laying it sideward, after which the volume is adjusted up to its maximum level.
Indeed, this kind of design might as well be the next-generation AirPods since it can integrate "motion, proximity, and even intelligent processing onboard" in one pair of headphones. Aside from that, it would not be that hard to implement as the current AirPod model already has the idea of having a discrete amplifier, even if it is not there, by locating a missing AirPod piece via a loud ping.
Stay tuned for more updates on Apple's dual-mode headphones.