Introducing your friends to the hottest new bands on your iPod isn’t much fun when you have to share one set of headphones. According to a newly-surfaced Apple patent, however, this may be a thing of the past, because future iPods could feature integrated speakers so that everyone can enjoy your music on the subway.
Apple’s patent, simply entitled “Speaker Clip,” was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and describes a method in which a piezoelectric speaker is built into a clip on an iPod nano or iPod shuffle.
The clip is similar to those on current models, but it features a grille that accommodates the tiny speaker underneath, allowing the device enough air to pump out your tunes. The speaker is wired up to the device through a conduit in the clip’s spring-loaded hinge.
Apple doesn’t specify how the speaker may be used, but it’s likely that it would be used for music, and possibly simply feedback sounds when navigating the device’s menus. Like the click sound found on older, click-wheel iPods.
However, a speaker of that size, which must be small enough to be built into an iPod’s clip, is unlikely to produce a sound of any decent quality at all, which is one reason why you may never see the clip brought to market.
There is another interesting find in this patent, however. In the exploded diagram below, the iPod nano features a large hole in its clip which strengthens those rumors that claim an upcoming nano will boast a camera.