Current AirPods can, in combination with an iPhone, already support the owner through Siri thanks to voice announcements. For example Siri can be activated at any time by voice command to execute a variety of commands. At the same time the iPhone can also use the AirPods to read incoming messages.
In new patents, Apple’s engineers describe some other helpful functions that might be possible in combination with the AirPods in the future. As Patently Apple reports, the inventors in Cupertino have, among other things, thought about user safety.
For example, one patent explains how the AirPods will be able to adapt to the wearer’s environment in order to make him or her aware of possible dangers. Especially in traffic, loud music can cause you to miss important information while cycling or jogging.
Apple’s “contextual audio system” could help to prevent such risks. The combination of AirPods and smartwatch or iPhone could then ensure, for example, that the volume in the headphones is automatically reduced or muted completely.
The system is said to be able to detect whether only one or both AirPods are worn. If both AirPods are used, it is possible that only the volume in one of the two headphones can be reduced. This could for example happen depending on which side of the road you are on.
Through the combination of several devices it is possible to see how the user is moving, making it possible to distinguish whether the owner is on a bicycle or in a car. This in turn should enable the system to make appropriate adjustments.
In addition to the patent for a potential increase in safety, Apple has also thought about more intelligent fitness training. In combination with a new type of fitness mat, they want to give AirPods’ users tips on how to improve their training.
For example, sensors in the mat can detect whether you are standing correctly during yoga. If this is not the case, Siri can actively intervene and tell the wearer that he or she should move in a certain direction. This can be done by briefly interrupting music or reducing the volume, as in the example above.