AirPods became popular with their launch by Apple with its iPhone 7 model in 2016. Since then, other companies have been following a similar tradition and introducing similar earphones. Microsoft has now decided to join in the contest and has filed a patent which will follow the same lead but will carry several latest features. The patent application was filed in 2017 and published this week by the U.S. patent office.
The patent states, “Wearable audio accessories for computing devices are described. In one embodiment the wearable audio accessory provides a speech based interface between the user and a nearby computing device for the performance of user-initiated or computing device initiated microtasks which they describe as asking for the weather, how your stock is doing today, what’s the traffic like, make a note / reminder, make a call and so forth. The information is provided to the user via a loudspeaker and the user can provide input via a microphone. An audio sensing channel within the accessory continuously monitors the audio signal as detected by the microphone and in various embodiments will trigger more complex audio processing based on this monitoring. A wireless communication link is provided between the accessory and the nearby computing device.”
By the looks of the patent, Microsoft is planning to release smart ear buds against Apple’s regular earphones. This upcoming device is said to be unique in its features because it has a temperature sensor which is designed to detect the body heat of the wearer. These smart ear buds would also wirelessly work with Xbox, televisions and set-top boxes. There may also be an audio sensing channel for monitoring the audio signals being detected by the microphone, the patent mentions, which will make it easy to communicate shopping or to-do list and setting up alarms for incoming emails or appointments.
Additional features with a better performance will also be added with a couple of more accessories. However, as it is still a patent, some more changes may be observed in the final released device.