Future AirPods, Beats headphones may identify who is wearing them.

This graphic shows a block diagram illustrating a system and environment for implementing a digital assistant with wearables.

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20220030345) for “user identification using headphones.” It hints at future AirPod and Beats wearables that can identify who is wearing them — via a paired iPhone — and tailer incoming audio to the wearer.

About the patent filing

In the patent filing, Apple notes that conventional systems are generally lacking with respect to user identification using headphones. In particular, traditional systems are not well equipped to determine whether a user wearing a respective set of headphones is an authorized user of a corresponding device, such as a mobile phone. 

In particular, these systems typically do not include functionality for considering whether the user wearing the headphones is associated with a corresponding device. Also such systems don’t perform authentication techniques and modify the types of outputs provided at the corresponding device based on the authentication. Apple wants to change this.

Abstract of the patent filing 

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “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.