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Apple patent describes intelligent, interchangeable, universal AirPods

After being expected to arrive this year, we are likely to see second-generation Apple's AirPods sometime early next year. However,…

After being expected to arrive this year, we are likely to see second-generation Apple’s AirPods sometime early next year. However, a recently unveiled Apple patent application reveals a pair of future earplugs that are exciting in many aspects. The patent was filed in 2017 but was awarded to Apple this week. It describes a pair of replaceable, universal AirPods equipped with fitness and health tracking equipment.

The substitutability comes from the fact that these AirPods would be symmetrical. They can be inserted (and fit) both ears. Depending on the sensor’s readings, earplugs would intelligently look if used left to right.

This application applies ear plugs configured with one or more biometric sensors. At least one of the biometric sensors is configured to be pressed against some tragus to make biometric measurements. In some embodiments, the earplug cover may be symmetrical so that the earplug can be used interchangeably in either a left or right ear of a user. In such an embodiment, the earplug may include a sensor and circuit configured to determine and change the function of the earplug according to which ear the earplug is determined to sit in.

Biometric sensors should not only be able to read heart rate data for track tracking. They can also provide other information, such as body temperature or even blood pressure. These AirPods should not be confused with the forthcoming second generation AirPods. Those arriving next year, with wireless charging, would improve the current design.

The AirPods described in this patent, if ever when the development phase, even less commercial availability, is further down the road. But it’s good to see Apple continually work on innovating and improving its products.

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