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We appear to be heading for a future in which every imaginable object has a built-in display. Case in point: A freshly granted Apple patent for a redesigned AirPods charging case with a built-in touch display. The patent, filed in September 2022 and found by Patently Apple, describes a very advanced AirPods case, with a display that allows users to control music playback but also to present other info such as weather conditions or maps. In one example, there’s a movie playing on the display, with the audio output being beamed out to the earbuds themselves. Other examples show radio or audiobooks playing, with the source being an external device (presumably an iPhone) and the case offering basic controls such as a slider to skip to another part of the track. images-1.fill_.size_2000x1785.v1680600450 The patent also describes haptic touch controls built into the case, allowing the user to squeeze the case to switch audio modes. While this wouldn’t turn the AirPods into a completely standalone music player, it would turn their case from something you only use for charging into a far more advanced device that almost feels like a renewed iPod. Apple discontinued the iPod nano back in 2017, and the iPod touch — the last of its music players — in 2022, so this may be a way to bring the music player back.


Of course, this being a patent, it could take years for this product to see the light of day, and it may never happen.


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