The latest Apple patent to seep into public knowledge is one for new and improved earbuds. But instead of addressing the real issue—audio components—Apple is blaming its noisemakers' woes on something entirely different: the multi-component design. Its solution: make em unibody-esque.
Discovered by Apple Insider, the patent calls for the implementation of ultrasonic bonding in the earbud design, which would give them the appearance of being forged from a single piece of plastic. And though it seems like a stretch, another earbud patent application from Apple says that improving design will improve the earbuds' acoustic properties:
The filing notes that holes are needed in earbuds to allow sound to travel, but the creation of those holes can result in remnants in or around them that degrade both the appearance of the device and the acoustic properties of the headphones.
The solution presented in that application is a tool for "deburring" a curved plastic object. The tool could be coated in an abrasive material and would conform to the shape of the curved object, then polish it by vibrating while in contact with the plastic surface.
Apple describes the look of current earbuds as "abrupt and aesthetically displeasing," which while possibly true, does not necessarily make the listening experience any better. [Free Patents Online via Apple Insider]