Apple is reportedly developing an AirPods case with a built-in interactive touch display that will allow users to control audio sources and interact with apps associated with the connected device.
The patent was filed in September 2021 and was recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent is titled “Devices, Methods and Graphical User Interface Interacting with a Headphone Case”.
According to the patent, the case is intended to enhance the usefulness of the headphone case and improve user control over the wireless headphones by configuring the headphone case with an interactive user interface that will allow users to control operations related to the wireless headphones. This includes playback control, changing audio sources, changing audio output modes, and more.
The patent provides for a capacitive touch screen with a graphical interface that provides haptic feedback, allowing the user to control audio playback, adjust volume, select favorite songs and interact with music in other ways without having to look at the case. The case will also respond to certain gestures, such as taps and swipes, to navigate on-screen content and invoke Siri. Apple suggests that squeezing the case could even be a way to change the AirPods’ listening mode, likely referring to noise cancellation and transparency.
Since the release of the first AirPods in 2016, Apple has been working to expand the functionality of the AirPods case for different models. In particular, for the AirPods Pro case, MagSafe wireless charging, the U1 Ultra Wideband chip that supports Find My accurate tracking, a lanyard loop, a built-in speaker for location and status updates, and extended battery life have been added.