A recently discovered Apple patent goes on to show that in their labs they are working to get the sensors in their products to do things that a few years ago we would consider magic. Apparently, the company has experimented with AirPods that identify their owner by scanning their ear canal.
“That ear doesn’t ring a bell, and you’re weird”
Why would AirPods need to identify their owner? Well, to be able to perform Siri’s personal commands without risking privacy. We’d avoid the situation where a friend tries on our AirPods and tells Siri to message or read the week’s events on our calendar to her.
A series of sensors that could be based on ultrasound could make a three-dimensional map of our ear canal, unique to each person, in order to inform the AirPods to be able to carry out personal or restricted commands. These sensors could also learn how we walk or run, which could also be an identifying factor.
Over time we have seen other rumors that could also come true with these sensors: AirPods that tell us if they are well placed or not, or that they adapt their sound depending on the pad that we place.
All this does not imply that we will see this type of function in the next AirPods Pro 2: it is a proprietary experiment that could well have been discarded. But if it does come to fruition, we could see tech based on it in AirPods in a few years.
Picture | Tarun Savvy