Next-Gen Apple EarPods Might Include Motion Sensors for Better Voice Recognition

By Gerald Lynch on at

While many would hope that Apple would just sort out the audio quality of its in-the-box EarPod earphones, a newly uncovered patent suggests the company has bigger plans in mind for its in-ear noise makers.

The patent suggests that Apple is looking into improving the voice recognition capabilities of the EarPods by introducing an accelerometer. The motion sensor would pick up on vibrations in the user's bones or tissue that indicate speech a split second ahead of the sound being uttered, and activate or deactivate noise-cancelling tech as appropriate. Each time the accelerometer recognises such low-frequency vibration sounds, one of two microphones placed in each EarPod would highlight ambient background noise and phase it out of the user's intended voice inputs.

Presumably, such active noise cancelling could be used to improve music playback, and it'd help improve call quality and Siri's ability to understand commands in loud environments too. Put your pipedream hat on and go one step further, and a wireless set of EarPods with this tech installed would make the perfect companion for the long-rumoured iWatch. As ever though, patents are not indicative of a final product plan, so we'll have to patiently wait to see if Apple decides to adapt this idea into a commercial set of earphones. [Apple Insider]