Apple won 2 AirPods Related Patents today covering the control of AirPods with In-Air Hand Gestures and more
Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to AirPods that may be configured to detect input using various sensors and structures. For example, AirPods may be configured to detect gestures, physical manipulations, and so forth performed along or on the AirPods.
In response to the detected inputs, the earbud may be configured to change various outputs, such as an audio output or a haptic output of the device. The earbud may also include a microphone to register voice commands. In some cases, the microphone may be used to control the earbud using the registered voice command in response to one or more detected gestures or physical manipulations.
Apple's patent FIG. 4A illustrates a user wearing AirPods and 4B depicts a cross-sectional view of the AirPods; FIG. 5 shows the user's hand performing an in-air hand gesture to control an aspect of AirPods.
Apple's patent FIG. 6A illustrates a touch area behind AirPods; FIG. 6B has the touch area on the stem of AirPods; FIG. 9 illustrates AirPods with a button on the back of AirPods while FIG. 10 illustrates a dial control.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11743623.
Apple was also granted a patent for AirPods Max titled "Headphone With Multiple Reference Microphones ANC And Transparency" under #11741939.