Future AirPods, AirPods Pros may be able to identify who is using them

In his latest “Power On” newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple could take its AirPods and make them “smarter’ buy putting cameras in them.

Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11750962 B2) for “user identification using headphones.” This hints at future AirPods products that can tell who is using them.

About the patent

In the patent Apple notes that when someone wearing AirPods or AirPod Pro receives a text message on a paired iPhone, an audible representation of the message may be provided to the user via the headphones. However, conventional systems don’t address whether the user wearing the headphones is authorized to interact with personal features of the device, such as receiving messages from the device. Apple says that improved systems for user identification using headphones is desired.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “Systems and processes for user identification using headphones associated with a first device are provided. For example, first movement information corresponding to movement of a second electronic device is detected. Second movement information corresponding to movement of a third electronic device is detected. 

“A similarity score is determined based on the first movement information and the second movement information. In accordance with a determination that the similarity score is above a threshold similarity score, a user is identified as an authorized user of the first electronic device and the second electronic device. Based on the identification, an output is provided to the second electronic device.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.