MacDirectory Magazine

Warren Manser

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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COMMENTARY A GLIMPSE INTO APPLE'S FUTURE PRODUCT RELEASES PATENT ANALYSIS BY JACK PURCHER FOR MORE, VISIT Apple Invents New Headset with Unique Wireless Option In October, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a rather inventive new headset that provides users with a temporary wireless option that's great for when you're working out in the gym or jogging. Apple's Patent Background Personal media players have become ubiquitous in that they could provide an end user with a great amount of multimedia information wherever and whenever desired. One of the great advantages to the end user of the personal media player is that the personal media player could be carried about for use in any number of different venues at any time while the end user engages in various physical activities. A signal wire in the form of a cord is generally used to transmit an audio signal from the personal media player to a wearable listening device, such as an ear bud. Cords transmit the audio signal more effectively, require less power, are inexpensive and are simpler to implement than wireless transmission techniques. However, as simple and efficient as the cord may be in transmitting the audio signal, the cord is susceptible to becoming entangled while the end user is participating in physical activity. This is particularly nettlesome since the cord connected to the personal media player used while exercising or worn on the body requires frequent adjustment to avoid entanglement which could prove distracting or in some cases present a hazard to the end user. Therefore, what's desired are improved techniques for listening to audio on a media player when a user is engaged in physical activity. Earphones with Detachable Connector Providing Wireless Connectivity embodiment, the portable communication device could take the form of an iPod nano but could take on other forms such as an iPhone or iPod touch. The listening device could include a single or double component such as an ear bud(s) that could be detachably coupled to a corded portion by way of a detachable connector. The detachable connector could take many forms. For example, the detachable connector could be mechanical nature and rely upon a clip, fastener, and the like to secure the listening device to the corded portion. Magnetic Connector In another embodiment, the detachable connector could be magnetic in nature. For example, the detachable connector could include a first part coupled to the listening device having at least a first magnetic element that exhibits a first magnetic polarity (i.e., either North magnetic polarity or South magnetic polarity). The detachable connector could also include a second part coupled to the corded portion having at least a second magnetic element that exhibits a second magnetic polarity opposite that of the first magnetic polarity. In this way, when the first and second parts are in proximity to each other, a net attractive magnetic force can be generated that could cause the first and second parts to magnetically attach to each other. In addition to the first and the second magnetic elements, the first and second parts could also include electrical contacts that could be used to create a conductive path between the first and second parts when the first and second parts are magnetically attached to each other. In this way, power and/or an audio signal could be passed from the host device to the listening device by way of the corded portion without interruption. Designed for 30-60 Minute Workouts or Timespans Accordingly, when the host device detects that the first and second parts of the detachable connector are physically separated from each other, the host device could immediately activate a wireless module incorporated within the host device and begin wirelessly transmitting an appropriately conditioned audio signal to the listening device. It should be noted, however, that since the first and second parts of the detachable connector are now physically separate from each other, the listening device can't receive power from the host device in any form. Therefore, the length of time that the listening device could wirelessly receive and process the wirelessly transmitted audio signal could be quite limited (on the order of about 30 minutes to about 60 minutes). Broadly speaking, Apple's invention describes at least a media apparatus that provides an end user of a personal media player a pleasurable listening and unencumbered experience during physical activity. The portable communication device described in Apple's invention could be equipped to carry out various multimedia and other types of personal communication functions. In one In order to receive power, the listening device could be re- connected to the host device using the detachable connector. Once the host device detects that the listening device is physically connected to the host device by way of the corded portion, the host device could immediately disable the wireless module and commence sending the audio signal in a wired manner by way of the corded portion. Read more at . 64 MacDirectory

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