New Apple Patent Adds Interactive Screen on Charging Case To Browse Music, Send Texts and Watch Movies

Apple could add a touch display to its AirPods charging case that lets users activate apps, execute commands and even watch movies. The tech giant published a new patent detailing the innovation’s primary focus is letting users access certain information without grabbing their iPhones.

The document describes the feature allowing access to Audio Books, Maps, iMessage and the Weather app. The patent, first reported on by Patently Apple, was filed on September 19, 2022, with the US Patent & Trademark Office, suggesting Apple is exploring the idea. 

The patent describes different cases for how the screen would benefit the users while also noting it would not replace current touch controls on AirPods. One suggests an optical sensor on the front of the case would feature a camera for snapping selfies or allowing videoconferences. Others show the touchscreen would let users sift through contacts, email clients, instant message friends and look at their calendars. 

Apple would also allow access to apps like Stocks, Calculator and Alarm Clock. An image shows a movie playing on the display and sound beaming through the AirPods, with similar photos showing a user s listening to a radio show or an audiobook.

The charging case could feature built-in haptic touch controls, which are activated when the user squeezes the case and switches audio modes. While the patent sounds more realistic than many of Apple’s ideas, it is not yet clear if the display will make it to the AirPods charging case.

AirPods and other headphones pose a security risk because anyone can wear them to give Siri commands or even access private information. Although Apple files many patents that haven’t made it to market, the tech giant says this patent ‘relates generally to user identification and, more specifically, to user identification using headphones.’


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