Future Apple AirPods might come with different controls with the company trying to shift to a capacitive touch system from the existing force sensor.
A recent patent application, titled ‘Portable Listening Device with Sensors’ that surfaced online, reveals that the Cupertino-based firm is working on introducing a greater number of gesture-based controls. Instead of the usual strong taps or long squeezes, a simple swipe will answer the calls or skip music tracks for you.
The newly teased touch sensors would cover the better part of the exterior of the AirPod, reports GSM Arena, and the rest is dependent on the way the data will travel to the device via the sensor.
While most of the device described in the patent application matches the description of existing AirPods or AirPods Pro, the only novel factor seems to focus on the sensor setup of the earpods, reported by Apple Insider.
The application reads that the AirPods will have an “exterior surface that defines a shape of the earbud such that the earbud is sized and shaped to be at least partially inserted into a user’s ear.” It also mentions that the “touch-sensitive sensor” will be placed “within the housing and adjacent to the exterior surface.”
The application has also provided us with a simple definition of the impending setup. The new sensor will define a “touch-sensitive region” situated at a “portion of the housing’s exterior surface.” It will be “configured to generate an interaction signal in response to detecting a touch of a user’s finger.”
Although the document does not differentiate between the sensors, it specifies that when a user touches the device, the system “detects the contact via a change in capacitance.”