A new patent design adding an interactive touchscreen display to Apple’s Airpods Pro case has been approved.
The design could become a new feature on the next generation of Airpods, seeing a built-in touchscreen display and multiple added features with the ability to scroll through music and adjust the volume.
The patent was first filed in September 2021 under the name ‘Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interface Interactions with a Headphones Case’, and included descriptions of different possible designs.
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“Headphone cases for wireless headphones have typically been exclusively configured to charge and store wireless headphones,” the patent reads.
“The utility of a headphone case can be enhanced, and user control over a user’s wireless headphones can be improved, by configuring a headphone case with an interactive user interface to enable user control of operations associated with the wireless headphones.”
Newly imagined models add the ability to use playback controls across associated apps like Apple Music, changing audio sources and output modes, and adjusting audio levels with haptic feedback.
Certain hand gestures and tactile feedback could also adjust a number of settings or levels to music, such as swipes, taps, and even squeezing the case. These gestures can also summon Siri or trigger noise cancellation and transparency.
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“There is a further need for a headphone case that can also convey information to a user, through haptics and/or display devices,” reads the patent.
“Such methods and interfaces reduce the number, extent, and/or nature of the inputs from a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface.”
Apple have drawn up a number of imagined designs and diagrams for the case, although it’s currently unclear which will make it to the next generation of Airpods.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins