Deviating from the norm is something folks at Apple love to do. A patent which was filed by the Cupertino way back in February 2014 titled “System and method of improving voice quality in a wireless headset with untethered earbuds of a mobile device” surfaced this week and spotted by AppleInsider, reveals just that. The company seems to be working on new technology to improve voice communication quality via earphones.
The unannounced wireless earbuds Apple seems to be working on, are said to be based off bone-conduction technology which Apple had patented last year crediting Sorin V. Dusan, Baptiste P. Paquier and Aram M. Lindahl as its inventors. The tech uses a variety of sensors including accelerometers, inertial sensors and internal microphones which work as a whole to improve audio quality. The aforementioned patent details different configurations of in-earbud sensors for enhancing noise-canceling technology.
The system is said to work by taking many factors into account such as accelerometer output, battery level and earbud position data. The subsystem then combines all this information and accounts for noise and wind level detected by internal earbud microphones. The data is sent to an externally connected device (such as your iPhone) which then processes it and applies a final noise reduction operation for outgoing audio.
The different sensors help the device determine various factors about the conditions the earbuds are being used under. For instance, the acoustic and inertial sensors determine whether or not the earbuds are plugged into your ears and find their relative positions, the accelerometers determine vibrations produced by a user’s vocal chords as they modulate through bone and tissue, thus deciphering voiced speech and pitch and the microphones taking in the desirable and undesirable sound inputs (desirable- voice of the user, undesirable- wind and feedback noises).
The audio signal processing system works on all this data and transmits it to the device paired with the earphones which then injects the final dosage of noise cancellation.
Power considerations are also taken into consideration during the determination process to ensure uninterrupted service.
While there has not been any official announcement about when we can expect this new tech to hit the stores, we can expect it soon as Apple filed a similar application for accelerometer-assisted noise cancellation last September.