One of the most glaring drawbacks of Apple’s AirPods is the fact that the earbuds are very easy to lose. Many users fear that the pair could fall out and be lost at any given moment, a catastrophe considering how expensive the small accessories are.
As it turns out, Apple may have a solution up its sleeve to prevent such mishaps in the future. The USPTO recently published a patent first submitted in June this year which describes a mechanism to keep earbuds firmly in place using magnetic hooks.
The document talks about a series of hooks that would attach around the ear and magnetically attract each other through opposite sides of the ear wall. Apple mentions that earphone assemblies are often worn by individuals when they are exercising or performing other vigorous activities in order to stop accidental dislodges from taking place.
It’s not entirely clear if the magnetic solution was conceived with the AirPods in mind since there’s discussion of both wired and wireless accessories. As for why Apple decided not to implement the patent, it’s possible the brand went in a different direction for the sake of simplicity and aesthetics.
Moreover, the current AirPods come with a small charging case that would make accommodating hooks difficult. There’s no way to predict whether or not Apple will opt to implement magnets in the next generation of the device. Till then, third-party firms such as Spigen are currently selling cables to attach to the earphones.
It’s not an ideal solution given the entire point of the AirPods is that it’s wire-free, but consumers may just go for that option until Apple comes out with a better one.