Apple’s media device patent filing involves ‘Apple Glasses,’ other gadgets

Apple has applied for a patent (number 20180302y06) for controlling the operation of a media device based on whether it’s currently being worn by a user. It could involve AirPods, Beats headphones, the rumored Apple Glasses (an augmented reality/virtual reality headset expected to debut next year or 2021), or a “faceplate with video/audio capability.

Per the patent filing, the portable presentation device — whatever its form —could be any device worn by a user that can present media content to the user. With this mechanism, a user can affect the operation of the media device by simply putting on or taking off the portable presentation device. 

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The user wouldn’t have to manually manipulate the controls of the media device. By automatically controlling the operation of the media device in this manner, use of the media device and the portable presentation device as a unit is made much simpler and more convenient, according to Apple.

Currently, to control whether audio content is provided by a media device to a set of earphones or headphones, the controls on the media device are used. That is, to start, stop, or alter the delivery of the audio content to the earphones or headphones, a user usually has to manually manipulate the controls that are on the media device. 

Some earphones and headphones now come with controls that a user can use to send control signals to the media device. With these earphones or headphones, the user can control the media device without physically accessing the controls of the media device. In either of these cases, however, in order to control the delivery of the audio content to the earphones or headphones, the user has to manually manipulate at least some set of controls. Apple says this can be inconvenient and wants to improve the process.

As for the faceplate mentioned, I’m not sure what Apple has in mind. It simply refers to a faceplate that covers the front of the user's face with a display and perhaps sound producing capability.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.