Apple has received a patent to control headphones using gestures and movements of different parts of the body. Forbes suggests this technology could be used in the second generation AirPods Pro.
This Apple patent describes a number of new ways to control audio devices, including headphones. Such a device will be able not only to read a variety of user signals, but also to distinguish random gestures from intentional control. For this, the sensors will analyze the position of the ears, walls of the ear canal, head, body of the user and its individual parts.
A signal means any movement that the user has configured for control (just like in regular AirPods, you can configure what actions are performed when the earphone is repeatedly touched). In particular, the technology will allow headphones to read and recognize clicks with the tongue, movement of hands or feet, shaking of the head, and so on. Touching a specific part of the body (for example, the cheek or hand) can also act as a signal.
If a device with such a function really comes out, it will allow others to control playback unnoticed without reaching for the phone and without touching the headphones themselves (which can be convenient, for example, in winter, when hands are in gloves and headphones are under a hat. But it is worth remembering that that while it is just a patent and not a fact that the technology will be used in a real product.