Sound is basically vibrations, which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that some audio companies are relying on those vibrations to create earphones that use bone conductivity to deliver audio to the listener. However, such earphones aren’t exactly common, but maybe future AirPods could employ the use of the technology.
According to a patent that was discovered by AppleInsider, it seems that Apple is exploring the potential use of bone conduction that could find its way to AirPods in the future. Of course, whether or not they do is another story, but there are some advantages to using bone conduction that might make it a good reason to develop such a product.
For starters, bone conduction will work for everyone, even those who might be hearing impaired. Secondly, since it doesn’t exactly go into your ear canals, bone conduction audio devices will leave the user free to take in the environmental noise, which might be useful when they’re out in public and need to be aware of things like traffic or have conversations. It can also make it feasible to be used underwater.
We imagine that such a setup when paired with devices like AR glasses could also greatly improve on its functionality, where users won’t need to keep themselves shut out of the outside world. However, as this is a patent, there’s no telling if it is going to be an actual product, so maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet.