Apple's AirPods launched to some seriously mixed reaction when they were unveiled a couple of months ago, but it's seemed that since then, some have warmed up to the idea of having a cordless experience when listening to music. Many who've adopted AirPods early generally have good things to say about them - at least those who've managed to not lose half of the pair yet (yes, it's happened)!
When AirPods launched, their niche-ness led some to wonder if we'd ever see a second iteration. Well, based on a newly-granted patent, there's almost no doubt that we will in fact see a follow-up.
An obvious concern with earbuds like these is that they have the capability of falling out during exercise, which doesn't just lead to inconvenience, but perhaps a damaged earbud, as well. The new patent details how Apple would combat this: by implementing a magnet, and a wrap-around device.
Based on the description, this doesn't look to be a solution that would mimic magnetized earrings, which stay in place with the help of the earlobe. Instead, it'd have a literal wraparound device that goes over and under the ear. That itself should keep them in place, but to provide the best fit, a magnet on either side would hold the two pieces in place.
It's an interesting design, although it doesn't sound quite as elegant as the current AirPods. There's also a big question of how comfortable these would be to wear, as your flesh is going to come right in between the two components. The magnet is surely not going to be too powerful, but skin discomfort is a definite concern.
This patent was filed in Q2 of this year, before the original AirPods launched, so we're not too sure when we'll see this design. Of course, just because a patent is granted doesn't mean that Apple is committed to the design. We just gotta keep an ear out at this point!