One benefit of using earbuds is we can choose what we want to hear and filter out the distracting noises in daily commute. That’s great but in some situations we want to hear the surrouding (be awear of what’s happening around) – it’s a safety feature since you may be potentially exposed to dangers – from the vehicles while walking in busy streets, sticking your eyes to phone screen and listening to music with earbuds.
Eabuds with close design and ANC will soon have a safety feature that can detect dangers and automatically turn the volume down or pause the music – kind of notification to wearers, according a patent by Apple titled “Contextual audio system”.
The Contextual audio system can also identify your posture or othe activities by earbuds’ built-in sensors if not earbuds, a sensing device is applicable and provide voice guide for your workout.
Not just that with the new feature AirPods Pro are able to automatically adjust the NC level in real-time depending what they “sense” from environment.
At first I thought the microphone in earbuds will listen to the ambient noise to identify which kind of noise, for example cars honking and notify users with sound or voice but acutally this new safety feature relies on the GPS from user’s devices that connects to earbuds.
For instance, if you bike as fast above a speed limit in some streets, earbuds will pause the music or one bud one the side adjacent to the road wont’ play music instead it activates the transparency mode so you can hear traffic, the other still play your favorite tracks undisputedly. All these need your GPS data to measure the distance, speed and location.
Probably, this feature will be a feature in the next gen of AirPods Pro.