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Apple has been Granted their second Patent this year for their Future Over-Ear Headphones Emphasizing Gesture Input

1 Cover over-ear headphones with audio touch controls


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 50 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's second granted patent for their future over-ear headphones with "Detection of headphone Rotation" and touch gestures.


As we get closer to Apple launching their first over-ear headphones, Apple was granted their second patent for 2020. The first was granted on February 4. The patent covered systems and methods to detect a gesture (e.g., a swipe) received as user input on a touch interface of the headphones, such as a touch interface integrated into an ear piece. The gesture may be made in a particular direction, such as down toward Earth.


Apple's patent FIG. 2A below shows a side view of a pair of headphones being worn by a user in an upright orientation; FIG. 2B shows a side view of an ear piece of a pair of headphones receiving a swipe gesture as user input in an upright orientation; FIG. 3A shows a side view of a pair of headphones being worn by a user in a downward orientation; FIG. 3B shows a side view of an ear piece of a pair of headphones receiving a swipe gesture as user input in a downward orientation; FIG. 8 shows a flowchart of a method for detecting rotation of a pair of headphones.


2 Headphone patent with audio controls on the headphone cups


In today's granted patent, we that Apple has doubled their patent claims regarding what a pair of headphones will comprise, with a lot of emphasis on gestures found in patent claims numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 14 and 15. Gestures was listed 21 times in today's patent claims.  


One example is found in patent Claim 1 which states in-part: … "detect a gesture input on the touch interface, (iii) process the gesture input to identify a predetermined function to perform on the headphones based on the gesture input and whether the headphones are worn by the user in the first or second orientation, and (iv) adjust playback of an audio signal by the pair of headphones in accordance with the predetermined function; wherein the gesture input is a downward swipe in a direction from a top the user's scalp towards the user's neck and wherein the adjusting the playback of the audio signal comprises decreasing a volume of the audio signal output from the first and second speakers."


You could review Apple's granted patent 10,721,550 and specifically the patent claims where the patent differs from February's granted patent here.


10.52FX - Granted Patent Bar


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