The hotly anticipated Apple AirPods Pro 2 could feature "through-body" response technology, allowing users to control the next-generation Apple noise-cancelling wireless earbuds by touching their face, clicking their tongue or making in-air hand gestures.
The development was spotted in a patent by Patently Apple, who reports: "Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a second AirPods Pro patent relating to new input methods."
According to the patent, the next-gen tech would "detect signals passed through the structure of the human body", including "an ear, the walls of an ear canal, a head, a user's body, a body part".
In other words, you could tap your foot to play a song or click your tongue to skip a track. The patent even suggests the user could "swipe a structure", meaning you could, for example, control the volume by circling your finger around the palm of your hand.
There's also talk of "in-air hand gestures". Similar functionality has already made its way into a handful of high-end smartphones, which use radar modules to recognise a user waving their hand or pinching their fingers, and then react accordingly.
As futuristic as "through-body" controls sound, the patent seems to show the technology demonstrated in a pair of wireless earbuds that could well be the rumoured AirPods Pro 2 buds, expected to be released in late 2021.
Apple has yet to comment on its whizzy new invention, or even the existence of the AirPods Pro 2 for that matter. But we wouldn't doubt the firm's ambitions when it comes to innovative headphone technologies. After all, the AirPods Max, Apple's first over-ear headphones, feature some pretty nifty control tech of their own. And there's plenty of interesting leaks surrounding the upcoming AirPods 3, too.
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