Apple may have just launched the EarPods, undoubtedly the Cupertino company’s best earphones yet, but it’s already hard at working on something better. In a new patent filing, Apple demonstrates its work towards a new set of headphones that would have built-in loudspeakers. The design allows you to quickly switch between headphones for personal use, and a set of speakers for sharing your favorite tracks with your friends.
Apple’s design looks a lot like a traditional pair of headphones, but their cans rotate to transform into speakers. While facing inwards, towards your ears, they’re headphones. But give them a twist and they’ll blast out your music like a normal set of speakers.
A built-in amplifier would allow the headphones to output sound loud enough that they can become speakers when necessary, and it would simply be deactivated in “headphone mode,” conserving power. And to prevent them from transforming into speakers while they’re on your head and making you deaf, there would be a sensor that detects contact between the headphones and the user’s ears.
Apple describes other methods for switching between each function, including manual switches, ambient light sensors, a resistive sensor, and many more.
Unfortunately, Apple’s patents are never a guarantee of features or products to come. But they do give us a good idea of the things the company is working on inside its highly secretive Cupertino campus. I for one will be hoping that Apple takes advantage of this particular patent, because I can’t think of a better way to revolutionize the traditional headphone. Can you?
- Source Patently Apple