Future iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and even Macs may adjust audio output if they detect unwanted, distracting sounds such as wind. Apple has filed for a patent for “speaker emulation of a microphone for wind detection.”
In the patent filing, the tech giant notes that acoustic noise may be any unwanted (or unpleasant) sound that is produced in an acoustic domain. Such noise is unwanted when it interferes with a person’s ability to listen to other sounds (such as music) that are being produced simultaneously by playback on an audio device. To reduce the effect of noise, active noise cancellation (ANC) systems may be utilized.
Apple wants to beef up its devices’ abilities to use one or more microphones to sense ambient sound, from which the ANC system produces an anti-noise signal that is similar to the noise but opposite in phase. This signal is then outputted through a speaker to cancel the noise through destructive interference.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “A method for detecting wind using a microphone and a speaker of an electronic device. The method obtains a microphone signal produced by the microphone. The method obtains a speaker input signal produced by the speaker that is emulating a microphone capturing ambient sound in an environment through the speaker.
“The method determines a coherence between the microphone signal and the speaker input signal and determines whether the coherence is below a coherence intensity threshold. In response to determining that the coherence is below the coherence intensity threshold, the method determines a presence of wind in the environment.”