Apple’s hybrid bone conduction system solves problems and reveals patent

A patent application, discovered by AppleInsider, shows that Apple has developed a “combined” hybrid audio system using bone conduction technology.

In a patent issued today by the US Patent and Trademark Office entitled “Multi-path audio stimulation using audio compressors,” Apple presents its conception of an audio device that seeks to overcome the problems generally associated with driving. that is. Bone conduction technology allows users to hear sound without headphones by transmitting vibrations through specific points at specific points in the user’s skull to reach the ear. While some bone conduction audio devices already exist on the market, they have remained quite unusual.

Bone conduction works best at lower frequencies, as the audio quality deteriorates at higher frequencies, and some users may find the necessary main contacts uncomfortable. Apple’s proprietary bone conduction system is unique in that it combines it with normal air-based sound transmission to overcome the drawbacks of other bone conduction systems.

Apple explains that audio signals could be filtered and compressed into three categories, high-frequency components, medium-frequency components, and low-frequency components. A combined signal from the low and medium frequency components would be transmitted through the user’s skull with bone conduction, but the high frequency component, which would otherwise be ineffective through bone conduction, would be sent through the air of normal form. The patent suggests that the necessary air conduction system in this configuration will be constructed in such a way that it does not block the ear canal. Apple’s hybrid system, therefore, combines the advantages of bone and air based audio conduction.

Apple has previously explored bone conduction technology to bring advanced noise cancellation to headphones. Unlike this system, the previous patent works in reverse, using accelerometers to detect vibrations in the skull for noise cancellation. While Apple has brought noise cancellation to AirPods Pro, it hasn’t yet instituted any bone conduction technology in its products. The technology would apparently fit more comfortably into the successful AirPods line, but the patents aren’t always indicative of Apple’s immediate plans.