Ditch the tradition!Apple’s new touch gesture control headset patent exposure

According to foreign media reports, Apple has recently exposed a unique headset touch gesture control scheme. The Apple headset in the patent does not use traditional function buttons.

A patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday involves a “headphone rotation detection” scheme that addresses how the user actually wears the headphones. Users can wear the headset in a variety of ways: for example, the user will move the headset headband forward or backward for convenience, hang the headset around the neck, etc. Apple’s solution is to locate the user’s ear and then orient the headset. The outside of the earcup is equipped with the intended touch Panel and the control circuitry inside there are multiple sensors for detecting the position of the ear in different ways.

In addition, the headset’s earcups are covered with capacitive proximity sensors that detect the headset’s position relative to the user’s ear and adjust its impact on touch gestures for a better headset-wearing experience. Apple could also add things like optical sensors and structured light sensors, which can effectively perform similar functions.

The inventor of this patent is Brooke L. Bunney and Jonathan R. Peterson. Bunney, Apple’s hardware systems integrator, has previously been granted a number of patents related to headphone orientation. Peterson, a former hardware engineer at Apple and now at Facebook Reality Labs, has worked on the audio product hardware team.

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