They may have invented the iPhone in 2007 and by extension, revolutionised smartphones as we know them, but Apple are never content to rest on their laurels. Forget as well the fact that they’ve since designed fast-running MacBooks, iPads that have artists using apps rather than a tangible canvas, and noise-cancelling AirPods – Apple wants to do more.
In the world of tech, companies are constantly seeking to reinvent and design products that push the boundaries. Theirs is an innovation that knows no boundaries and for Apple, that means creating augmented reality headphones.
Apple hasn’t been shy of admitting their desire to create AR headphones. The tech giant has been working on a number of AR projects, including an augmented reality headset, but it’s these headphones that have many curious. Rumours have swirled about their design for years, but it wasn’t until recently that it became something of a reality for Apple as a patent they filed for a “virtual conference room audio experience” was reported by Patently Apple. More importantly, the patent was approved.
According to reports, the AR headphones are for use in conference calls. They are believed to help improve identification and the intelligibility of speech, while also simulating a virtual audio environment – similar to that of a conference room – so listeners are able to identify and hear other speakers as thought they are talking in the same place.
It’s a great idea and one you can see a number of people gravitating towards. As we spend more of our lives at the office, naturally work is becoming a bigger part of our identities. And for anyone that’s ever found themselves on the receiving end of a conference call, you’ll be familiar with the panic that sets in when it comes to ensuring there’s a strong WiFi connection, that the line is strong and you can hear everyone, and that you have the ability to connect to a camera or some kind of video device. Because, as we all know, nuances are missed on the phone. These headphones would change all of this, making for an optimal setting for all conference call situations. The technology could also be beneficial for personal calls as well as listening to music or movies.
As Digital Trends reports, Apple have reportedly applied for several preset environments that “would be able to adapt to where the listener is situated, such as outdoors, closed rooms like an office, or reverberant environments like a conference hall.”
As far as the look of the product goes, it’s quite a variation from Apple’s regular line-up. These are over-the-ear headphones, but as the patent images suggest it seems likely that they would also feature wireless technology like the AirPods.