CUPERTINO, USA – Apple registered a patent application in 2011 in which it describes a dual-mode headphone that transforms into a set of speakers.
The arrangement of the headphone allows a switch from personal listening mode to speaker mode and integrates position-sensing circuitry and a power amplifier.
When a user is listening in personal mode, the sound bypasses the amplifier to produce subdued sound, while in speaker mode the unit takes advantage of the amplifier for loud output.
The file also explains the arrangement of the positioning sensor that senses the position of headphone, so that a user is protected against an unintentional switch to speaker mode when listening in personal mode. However, users may activate speaker mode manually when needed.
Additionally, an articulating arm or other design can also be used to support headphones up in speaker mode.
Furthermore, IR sensors, ambient light sensors, hall effect sensors, and other sensors can also be integrated in the new invention.