A new patent has been awarded to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today (via Appleinsider), wherein the Cupertino giant might be looking forward to develop an advanced set of Earbuds, that would automatically detect when two users are sharing the same earphone set and would make adjustments accordingly.
This could be done by integrating a couple of sensors, including mechanical switches, strain gauges, capacitive sensors and even light transmission via fiber optics, to Apple’s iconic earbuds. One of those sensors would be an angle sensor configured to measure an angle at the Y-junction of a cable associated with the pair of headphones.
Eventually, it would be used to determine in real-time whether the device is being used by more than one person and would then switch stereo sound settings to mono or perhaps a better sound quality.
Interestingly, the patent also details a possible way that two users would be able to listen to two completely different songs at the same time. Apple’s patent also outlines other sensor techniques, including piezo-electric force sensors.
It is not certain whether Apple will actually build this version of its ear buds or just stack it into its long list of patents.
Apple’s earphone cable orientation sensor patent was first filed for in 2012 and credits Paul G. Puskarich as its inventor.