California-based tech giant Apple recently filed a patent for a new charging case for its hugely popular AirPods with a fully interactive display. Spotted by Patent AppleThe US Patent & Trademark Office has granted the patent for Apple’s cases with a built-in touchscreen with an interface similar to that of the Apple Watch.
Useful functions and apps, such as maps, weather, notifications and music controls, would all be visible from the case unit. The patent also covers voice commands, allowing users to switch between applications and functions using Siri.
However, this is not the first time a tech company has launched a smart charging case with user features built into the device. That honor goes to JBL, who drove the technology with its Tour PRO 2 wireless earbuds.
There’s no guarantee Apple will push through with the project, but the patent, filed in September 2022, will at least allow the company to explore its vision if it’s ultimately deemed worthwhile.
However, speculation remains as to what form the case will take and the role it will play. The obvious use is as an external complement to a classical music source like an iPhone or even a HomePod, but there’s a chance Apple will allow the updated case to be used as a standalone item that, with the basic functionality of an Apple Watch, can simply be used with the AirPods without the need for an alternate source, a bit like an updated new version of the old iPod Nano 7.
Of course, this is all speculation. Apple’s patent is still new, which means California techs have 20 years before the patent expires. However, the idea of faster, simpler functionality by simply using the charging unit itself has some appeal. There is certainly a case to be made, at the very least.
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