The united state Patent and Trademark Office today released a patent application submitted by Apple in November 2012 (through AppleInsider), detailing a version of Apple’s Earbuds that would smartly detect when 2 users are sharing the very same earphone set and in-turn switch audio to single- or multi-user mode.

The earphones would use a range of sensors, including an “angle sensing unit set up to determine an angle at the Y-junction of a cable related to the pair of earphones,” to determine in real-time whether the device was being used by more than someone. The Y-junction strain detector would determine the expanding gap in between the point where the headsets split into buds for the right and left ear, determining whether to readjust the audio for two users as the gap broadens or just one when it stays the very same.

earphone patent
Interestingly, the patent likewise details a possible way that two users would not just be able to pay attention to the exact same music with better quality on a single pair of earphones, but listen to totally different tunes at the same time. Other alternatives are depicted in the patent for helping to detect a change in between user count, ranging from standard mechanical switches to determining accurate angle positioning of a pair of earphones utilizing light transmission and fiber optic cables.

Considered that the patent application was filed over two years ago and Apple has yet to launch earphones with the recommended technology, it is not likely the company has plans to do so. Still, as a response to a typical use of one of Apple’s items in the wild, today’s patent is certainly an interesting glimpse into the way the business observes unexpected uses of even its most simple developments.

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