Audio | December 23, 2020 12:31 pm

The Next AirPods Might Be Controlled With Your Teeth

New patents reveal a "through body sensor system" that could lead to teeth clicking, face touches or hand gestures as your controls

AirPods may get teeth control
"I'm not smiling, just trying to crank up 'WAP.'"
Yuricazac / Getty Images

Controlling your earbuds or headphones requires a minimal amount of work. You either need to press a button, fiddle with an app or touch the side of an ear pad (don’t get us started on voice commands, which you should never use outside of your own home).

But the tech site Patently Apple may have found the tech giant’s big plan to reduce your more obvious tech interactions, at least with their popular AirPods. According to two patents they’ve uncovered, Apple is looking into both hand-gesture controls and “through body sensors.” And the latter could mean controlling your earbuds through an action like clicking your teeth.

As the site notes about these “input actions” that could conceivably act as AirPods controllers: “The user may contact an exterior surface of their body, such as the skin on his or her face. Further examples of input actions include a user clicking his or her teeth together or clicking his or her tongue.”

As Tom’s Guide lays out, the controls could actually even go further and outside of your own body. They might include shaking your head, moving your arms or using “vocal sounds and subvocalizations (sounds undetectable by human ears)” to control your devices, or even tapping a table or squeezing someone else’s arm, which wouldn’t be awkward at all.

You can look at the latest patent here.