Not too long ago we got wind of an Apple patent likened to a walkie-talkie. Their latest patents detail bone conduction earbuds and water-resistant speakers.
Apple Patent: Bone Conducting Earbuds, Water Resistant Speaker
Apple has been busy! Their latest blueprints have come to light today after their patents were approved and publicized by the United States Patent and Trademarks Office.
The bone conduction patent, referred to as 9,363,596, is a system they hope to employ to improve voice quality through microphones. The abstract explains that an accelerometer will be able to pick up vocal chord vibrations which will vibrate through the skull. Then, with the use of acoustic signals in a microphone, ambient noise is filtered out. Start-up company Studio Banana Things is currently hosting a Kickstarter for their bone conduction headphones called BATBAND. The headband-shaped headphone vibrates sound waves within your skull and vibrates against your inner ear so music is heard inside the head while freeing your outer ear to ambient noise. The sound is said to sound like its floating in the center of your head. Naturally, I’m curious to know how audio will sound via Apple’s plans.
The Cupertino-based tech giant also had another patent published today. This technology, referred to as patent 9,363,589, discusses the use of mesh to “resist entry of liquid and/or other materials” into ports of an acoustic device. Water proofing! The patent further discusses an “umbrella” portion to cover acoustic ports. Similar technology is said to already be in the current Apple iPhone with a mesh covering over the speaker port. The patent then goes on to detail the technology can be further strengthened with a hydrophobic coating added to the outer mesh umbrella as well as a hydrophilic coating to the inner surface. The hydrophilic coating may be applied to the inner surface of the additional mesh to draw back out any liquid that does manage to enter an aperture. The hydrophobic coating may be applied to internal areas of the housing of the electronic device, between the apertures and the mesh, so that any liquid that does enter through one or more of the apertures exits back through one or more of the apertures more easily.