Apple is reportedly working on future AirPods that could come with simple touch sensors instead of force detection for control for an improved experience. A new patent suggests that the tapping that is currently required to control the AirPods may be changed next time, reports Apple Insider. The current system uses a force sensor, combined with an accelerometer, to effect a change when a user double-tap on an AirPod stalk.
"AirPods have an exterior surface that defines the shape of the earbud such that the earbud is sized and shaped to be at least partially inserted into a user's ear. And a touch-sensitive sensor positioned within the housing and adjacent to the exterior surface," reads the patent application. With the upcoming feature changing the volume on a pair of AirPods might be done by simply swiping across the surface of one.
According to the report, Apple's patent application is more concerned about the specifics of how such sensor routes data to the device than it is about the practical uses of the idea. Apple is also reportedly planning to add Ambient Light Sensors in future versions of AirPods to monitor data such as blood oxygen level and heart rate.