Apple is looking into making its own Star Trek communicator device as evidenced by a newly granted patent (number  US 11979721 B2) for “Wearable Device With Direct Audio.”

The patent relates generally to wearable devices, and, more particularly, to wearable devices with directional audio. In the patent Apple notes that audio headsets have acoustic speakers that sit on, over, or in the ear of the user. They can connect to other devices operate as sources of audio signals that are output by the speakers. 

However, some headsets can isolate the user from ambient sounds and even provide noise-cancellation features. What’s more, many audio headsets are somewhat obtrusive to wear and can inhibit the user’s ability to hear ambient sounds or simultaneously interact with others near the user.

Apple’s idea is to provide a wearable device with an audio module that is operable to provide audio output from a distance away from the ears of the user. For example, the wearable device can be worn on clothing of the user and direct audio waves to the ears of the user. Such audio waves can be focused by a parametric array of speakers that limit audibility by others. 

Thus, the privacy of the audio directed to the user can be maintained without requiring the user to wear audio headsets on, over, or in the ears of the user. The wearable device can further include microphones and/or connections to other devices that facilitate calibration of the audio module of the wearable device. The wearable device can further include user sensors that are configured to detect, measure, and/or track one or more properties of the user.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today