In the future, you might see earphones that no longer have “L” and “R” markings on them, simply because they are a far advanced version of the Universal Earphones that were talk about today. Researchers at the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo, Japan, have managed to develop a pair of earphones that they call, “Universal Earphones”, as each pair is smart enough to switch audio channels automatically whenever they are placed in the wrong ear. After all, audiophiles are extremely particular about the kind of stereo match whenever they listen to music the way it was mixed originally, while those who enjoy 3D sound want to make sure the visuals work in tandem with the audio. How does the Universal Earphones do it then? Well, the ear side detection answer is extremely simple actually – all it takes is a proximity sensor that is connected to one earphone, where it will measure the distance to your ear.
Placing the earphone on the right and the sensor will point to the back of your head, detecting the ear behind it, and when you swap it to reside on the left ear, the sensor will point to the open air in front of you. This will alert the tiny, embedded audio circuit to change channels whenever a mismatch is detected. Sounds like a dream, no? I do hope to see a commercially available version, and soon.
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