Apple's original work on a future headset began in 2006. Their first headset patent was made public in 2008 and it was granted a year later. Then there was a long gap in time before Apple's work on this project resurfaced last May advancing their Personal Display Headset. That design was granted to Apple months later. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published another granted patent for Apple covering a wearable presentation device that was interestingly designed by iTunes Ecosystem Design Lead Christopher Sanders. Will this proposed design be positioned to represent an advanced visual iPod headset accessory that could work in conjunction with an iPod or iPhone? Only time will tell.
Granted Patent: Portable Presentation Device
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to controlling operations of a portable presentation device to be worn by a user and that is capable of presenting media content to the user such as earphones, headphones, goggles or faceplates with video/audio capabilities.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below is a block diagram of a system, including a media device and a portable presentation device.
According to Apple, one embodiment of the portable presentation device may be any device that is meant to be worn by a user and that is capable of presenting media content to the user such as audio content (e.g. music, speech, sounds, etc.), video content (e.g. graphics, stills, motion pictures, text, etc.), content from a communication (e.g. voice or speech content from a telephone call, speech and video content from a video conference, etc.), or any other type of content.
Examples of a portable presentation device may include but not limited to:
1) a single or a pair of earphones that are meant to be inserted into a user's ear(s); a headphone or a set of headphones that are meant to go over and cover one or both of the user's ears; and an earpiece that is meant to be inserted into a user's ear.
2) A portable presentation device may also be a set of goggles that fit over the user's eyes with display and perhaps sound producing capability, a faceplate that covers the front of the user's face with display and perhaps sound producing capability, or any other headwear that has display and perhaps sound producing capability.
If the portable presentation device is a headphone that goes over one or more of the user's ears, a proximity sensor may be placed in a part of the headphone that goes over and faces the user's ear when the headphone is worn. A temperature sensor may be placed on a part of the headphone that covers and contacts the user's ear when the headphone is worn. A pressure sensor may be placed at a portion of the earphone that gets pressed against the user's ear when the headphone is worn.
As a further example, if the portable presentation device is a set of audio/visual goggles that are worn over the user's eyes with a strap that goes around the user's head, a proximity sensor may be placed in a part of the goggles that faces the user when the goggles are worn. A temperature sensor may be placed on a part of the strap that contacts the user's skin when the goggles are worn. A pressure sensor may be placed at a portion of the strap that gets pressed against the user's head when the goggles are worn.
The sensor(s) #108 may be positioned in the manner described or in any other manner. All possible manners of placement of the sensors are within the scope of the present invention.
Examples of sensors that may be used in the wearable device include but are not limited to a proximity sensor (e.g. an infra-red sensor, a laser sensor, a SONAR sensor, or any other type of sensor that can sense distance/proximity), a temperature sensor, and a pressure sensor.
In Apple's patent FIG. 3 noted below we're able to see a flow diagram illustrating the operation of the media provision mechanism MPM 112 as a communication device such an iPhone.
Apple credits Design Lead, iTunes Ecosystem Christopher Sanders as the sole inventor of granted patent 8,954,177 which was originally filed in Q2 2011 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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