This weekend Patently discovered a patent application by Apple in the European Patent Office database that covers possible future features of their over-the-ear headphones. The patent points to touch inputs on the earphones to control functionality and a unique collapsible form factor that allows the headphones to be easily worn in a headphone case. Apple's invention describes several improvements on the circumaural and supraural headphone frames.
In the larger picture, Apple says headphones have been in production for many years, but many design problems remain. For example, the functionality of headbands associated with headphones has generally been limited to a mechanical connection which only serves to maintain the headphones of the headphones over the user's ears and provide an electrical connection between the earphones.
The headset tends to add significantly to the main body of the headphones, thus making storage of the headphones problematic. Stems connecting the headband to the earpiece designed to fit an orientation of the earpiece with respect to the user's ears also add mass to the headphones. Rods connecting the headband to the earpiece to accommodate the headband extension usually allow a central portion of the headband to shift to one side of the user's head. This changed configuration may look a bit strange, and depending on the design of the headphones, the headphones may also be less comfortable to wear.
Although some improvements that wireless delivery of media content to the headphones have alleviated the problem of wiring, this type of technology introduces its own series of problems. For example, because wireless headphones require the battery power to work, a user who turns on the wireless headset may inadvertently determine the battery of the wireless headphones so that they cannot be used until a new battery can be installed or the device recharged.
A solution to power management problems associated with wireless headphones includes incorporating an orientation sensor into the earpiece that can be configured to monitor an orientation of the earpiece with respect to the band. The orientation of the earpiece with respect to the band can be used to determine whether or not the headphones are worn over the user's ears. This information can then be used to put the headphones in standby or close the headphones down when the headphones are not intended to be placed over the user's ears.
Another design problem with many headphones is that a user generally has to figure out which earpiece corresponds to which ear is to prevent the situation where the left audio channel is presented to the right ear and the right audio channel is presented to the left ear.
A solution to the large headband shape factor problem is to design the headband to flatten against the earpiece. The flattened headband allows the curved geometry of the headband to be compressed into a flat geometry so that the headphones can achieve a size and shape suitable for more convenient storage and transportation.
The earmuffs can be attached to the headband with a collapsible stem group that allows the earpiece to be folded towards the center of the headband. A force applied to fold each earpiece into the headband is transferred to a mechanism that pulls the corresponding end of the headband to flatten the headband.
In some embodiments, the trunk may include an over-center locking mechanism that prevents inadvertent return of the headphones to a curved state without requiring the addition of a trigger button to transfer the headphones back to the arc state.
Apple Patent Fig. 9A below shows an earplug of headphones placed over a user's ear; FIG. 9B shows positions of capacitive sensors underneath a surface and adjacent ear contacts associated with the ear.
Apple's patent Figs. 11D-11F above shows how earpieces # 1104 of headphones # 1150 can be folded against an exterior facing surface of deformable band region # 1108. Figure 11D shows headphones in a curved state. In Figure 11E, one of the earpiece is folded against the exterior facing surface of the deformable When the earplug # 1104 is in place as shown, the force exerted by moving the earpiece to this position may place one side of the deformable headband assembly # 1102 in a flat state while the other side remains in curved condition. .11F the second earplug # 1104 is also shown folded toward the outside angle. Apple's Patent Figures 12A and 12B below illustrate another set of headphones that can be transferred from a curved state to a flat state by pulling on opposite sides of our band.
Apple's patent Figures 16A and 16B below show us another headphone mount in folded and curved states.
As part of an anti-Buckling Assembly we find and interesting function in patent FIG. 23A below showing us an exploded view of components associated with a data plug seen as a lightning plug; in patent FIG. 23B, we are able to see a complete mounting of the telescopic member with the threaded attachment fully secured in a threaded opening to securely hold a data plug. In this patent, it looks like a USB data plug as an alternative to a lighting plug or connector.
having an entrance panel which can form an exterior facing surface of the earplug, Fig. 29A shows us a perspective and a view
Apple notes that Input Panel Panels can be attached to a flat outward facing surface of headphones. touch-sensitive input surface that allows users to enter the user guide into headphones, such as stopping or playing media. Other potential touch inputs are not mentioned so that they can be one surprise when the headphones come on the market.
Apple Headphone Carrying Case Apple's Patent Fig. 30B below shows an example of carrying case # 3016 suitable for use with peripheral and supra-audible headphones. Case # 3016 includes a recess # 3018 to accommodate a headband setting and two earpieces. The recessed portions that fit the earpiece may include protrusions # 3020 and # 3022, which fill in recesses of earpieces sized to accommodate a user's ear.
Apple's patent Figure 30C above shows headphones # 3000 located in a recess and Figure 30D shows a cross-sectional view of earplug # 3002 according to section line KK in Figure 30C. Figure 30D shows how protrusions # 3020 include capacitive elements # 3024 disposed along an upwardly facing surface of the protrusion in a predefined pattern. Consequently, when headphones are placed within the case and capacitive sensors # 3026 sense capacitive elements in the predefined pattern, the headphones can be configured to turn off or enter a lower power state to conserve power.
Other headphone functions mentioned include "an active noise interrupt system for damaging noise interference originating from the outside of the housing; a voltage meter arranged in the first earplug and configured to measure a rotational speed of the first earplug in proportion to the headband assembly; and a processor configured to change the operating state of the headphones when the processor determines the amount of rotation of the first earpiece relative to the headband device has exceeded a predetermined threshold based on sensor readings received from the voltage meter. , published in Europe on May 23, 2019 by the European Patent Office, was originally filed in Q4 2018. There were 33 Apple engineers credited for this headphone invention, considering that this is a patent application, the time of such a product to market the week t at the moment.
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