Touchscreen display on AirPods Pro case: Apple receives patent approval

Apple has recently been granted a new patent that adds a touchscreen display to the charging case of its popular wireless earbuds, the AirPods. The patent reveals a new way for users to interact with their AirPods and take advantage of various features.

According to a recently published patent, Apple is considering adding a built-in touchscreen display to their AirPods case. This display would allow users to control audio sources and interact with apps associated with the connected device.

In September 2021, Apple filed a patent application titled ‘Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interface Interactions with a Headphones Case’, which was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent includes multiple depictions of various designs, including AirPods and a front-facing touchscreen on the case, clearly illustrated through accompanying images.

A concept of an AirPods Pro case with a touchscreen made by MacRumors.

A concept of an AirPods Pro case with a touchscreen made by MacRumors


Apple has envisioned a scenario where Apple Music can be controlled through the case using a capacitive touchscreen that comes with a user-friendly graphical interface. This interface also provides haptic feedback, enabling users to manipulate audio playback, adjust the volume, select favorite songs, and perform other music-related actions without looking at the case.

Another possibility involves the case’s ability to interpret certain gestures, such as taps and swipes, in order to navigate on-screen content or activate Siri. Apple even suggests that squeezing the case could become a way to toggle the listening mode of the AirPods, including options like Noise Cancelation or Transparency.

Moreover, Apple proposes incorporating additional processors and memory modules into the case that would enable it to perform functions typically associated with smartphones, computers, and other internet-connected devices. For example, some embodiments demonstrate the case’s touchscreen offering interactive access to iPhone applications like Phone, Mail, Messages, Camera, Calendar, Weather, Maps, and more.

Watch the video below for a quick glance at the new patent by Apple.

As is the case with most filed patents, it’s uncertain whether the technology it describes will ever appear in a product, let alone anytime soon. Nevertheless, it provides a fascinating insight into how Apple is experimenting with methods to transform an AirPods case into a more practical bridge between the AirPods and the connected audio source.

A designer with a love for problem-solving and a strong passion for dance music.

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