On June 24, 2021, the Beats Studio Buds were release. On October 10, 2021, Patently Apple posted a U.S. Design Patent covering the new earbuds. Last week the US Patent & Trademark Office finally published the patent application from Apple covering the Beats Studio Buds. It is shown to have been originally filed by Apple in April 2021 or two months prior to their official release. Technically, this is a patent fulfilled.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a simplified illustration of an exemplary portable electronic listening device system having a host device (iPhone), a case, and a pair of wireless listening devices configured as earphones: FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of various components of a portable wireless listening system.
Apple's patent FIGS. 3A and 3B above are simplified illustrations of first and second sides of the Beats Studio Buds. As highlighted in FIG. 3A in light orange, the earbud includes a multi-function button #330.
Further, the multi-function button enables a user to control certain features of the wireless in-ear headphone with a single button instead of multiple separate input buttons. In some embodiments, the multifunction button can be a rocker switch that can be activated to invoke different functions controlled by a host device wirelessly coupled to communicate with headphone based on the number of times the button is depressed in rapid succession and/or the length of time that the button is depressed.
For example, in one particular implementation, depressing the button a single, relatively short time (a single click) can invoke a "play/pause" command for music being streamed to the in-ear headphone by the host device, rapidly depressing the button twice in succession (a double click) can invoke a "next track" command, rapidly depressing the button three times in succession (a triple click) can invoke a "previous track" command and depressing the button for a relatively long continuous amount of time (e.g., half a second or more) can activate a digital voice assistant that can accept additional commands from a user via one of the microphones on headphone.
Apple's patent application 20220279263 is broken down into distinct chapters that cover the following elements in more depth:
- Example Wireless Listening System
- In-Ear Headphones
- Internal Components
- Acoustic Volumes
- Multi-Function Button
- Charging Case
- Pocket Troughs
- Retention Magnets
Just as Apple's Beats Studio Buds patent became public, Apple is preparing to launch their second generation of AirPods Pro at Wednesday's special event (Sept. 07, 2022), according to Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter posted on Sunday morning.
Apple Patent Inventors
Duy Le: Senior Manager of Beats Product Design
Robert Boyd: Product Design Manager, Beats
Christy Smiechowski: Manager, Beats Product Design at Apple
Ryan Ott: Product Design Engineer (the only one of the inventors listed on the patent that is identified on LinkedIn as being with Beats by Dr. Dre)
Sunita Venkatesh: Produce Design Engineering Manager
Yufan (Claire) Liao: Interconnect Product Design Engineer
Wenjie Zhuang: Couldn't find a LinkedIn Profile.