A good majority of our headphones these days still come with labels that indicate whether they should be worn in our left or right ear. However according to a recently discovered patent, it seems that Apple could be toying with the idea of creating a pair of “universal” AirPods, which can be worn in either ear.
Right now the AirPods have been designed in such a way that even if you wanted to wear the left earbud in your right ear, it would be difficult, but the patent describes how Apple has come up with a design that would allow it to be worn in either ear. Also as 9to5Mac points out, given Apple’s approach towards greener manufacturing procedures, a universal design means that buying a replacement unit in the event it is lost or broken should be easier.
The patent also describes how Apple envisions fitting biometric sensors into the AirPods, where one sensor will be pressed up against the wearer’s tragus to take measurements, which could also be used to determine which ear the earbuds are worn in. However given that we’ve seen how some headphones come with the ability to measure one’s heart rate and oxygen levels, those are some of the possibilities of such a design.
Recently analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come forward to state that a redesigned set of AirPods will not come until at least 2020, but whether this redesign will include some of the features we’re seeing in this patent remains to be seen.