TheUnited States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple earlier this month a patent for a ?acoustic device resistant to liquids ?, and a second patent for a ?accelerometer and microphone signal mixing system to improve voice quality?. The latter is based on the vibrations of the vocal cords and the user?s head.
Liquid resistant headphones
The first patent describes a process for waterproofing acoustic ports with an ?umbrella? mesh. This would reduce the pressure of the liquid on the mesh and mitigate any potential damage to the internal acoustic device. Apple used a similar approach to waterproof the Apple Watch, but this patent could be the first step towards a truly water-resistant iPhone.
Noise canceling headphones
The second patent is entitled ?System and method for mixing accelerometer and microphone signals to improve voice quality in a mobile device?. It refers to headphones that use bone conductivity technology to screen ambient noise.
The document talks about headphones that have built-in accelerometers that are able to detect vibrations of the vocal cords from a user?s skull. The attached microphone will then use these measures to block non-vocal noise. This technology will, for example, allow a user to hear voices while listening to music. If this materializes, Apple may in the future offer noise-canceling headphones with its iPhones.