Apple Patents Earbuds With Noise-Canceling Sensor Smarts
Apple continues looking at ways to improve its earbuds — including potentially ditching the iconic white cables which had such a starring role in iTunes ads, back in the day.
According a patent filed in February last year but published this week and spotted by AppleInsider, Cupertino is looking at making wireless earbuds that also incorporate bone-conduction technology in order to improve voice communications. The patent also describes deploying a range of other sensors — such as internal microphones and accelerometers — to better detect external noise to boost noise-canceling capabilities and enhance the in-ear audio experience.The patent application, entitled “System and method of improving voice quality in a wireless headset with untethered earbuds of a mobile device,” details various configurations of in-earbud sensors for enhancing noise-canceling technology.Inertial sensors are used to detect vibrations in the user’s vocal chords, via the vibrations of the bones and tissues of their head, while internal microphones and processors detect wind levels and external noise. The multi-sensor configurations then utilize a combination of these wind/noise and voice signals to determine how to tweak audio levels to improve overall audio quality.