Microsoft is continuously looking to expand its device portfolio with new products, and if a newly-discovered patent gets the go-ahead for mass production, the software giant could launch its very own smart headphones.
Discovered today, the patent is intuitively called “Audio earphones having an adjustable cable system.” It describes a new headphone design that incorporates not only adjustable cables, but also several sensors enabling a series of features like automatically pausing music playback when removing the headset.
Using Bluetooth to connect to a device, Microsoft’s headphones could come with batteries in both left and right pods, though the company explains in the patent that the battery unit might be used on just one pod to leave room for other technology like sensors.
Sensors built into the pods
Interestingly, the software giant also envisions more advanced functionality that would be enabled by these sensors. The company explains in the patent:
“Sensors can provide additional functionality to the earphone apparatus. For instance, in one example that should not be construed as limiting, the one or more sensors can detect when at least one speaker units/earphone is inserted or removed from user’s ear.
The detected removal from the user’s ear of at least one speaker unit/earphone may change an operating mode of the earphone apparatus, e.g., causing the earphone apparatus to automatically pause the playing of multimedia associated with at least one of the audio earphones (e.g., blocking the audio signal to at least one speaker units/earphone or pausing the media player that is connected to audio speaker units/earphones via either physical auxiliary wire or via short range wireless technology, such as Bluetooth).”
Once the pods are again inserted into the ear, music playback automatically restarts, thus helping save battery when not in use.
As usual, a patent is by no means confirmation that a certain product is ready to enter mass production, but at first glance, it makes sense for Microsoft to expand in this market, especially because its rivals have been there for a long time.