Apple has been secretly developing its own car project. Although the official has not confirmed the existence of the project, the company has recently published five new patent applications related to car audio systems, showing Its innovation and ambition in this regard.
It is noticed that these five patent applications cover many aspects from headrests, car doors, phone interconnection to spatial audio, etc., aiming to provide the best audio experience for passengers in Apple cars.
One of the patent applications describes how to install speakers in the headrest and adjust the audio output according to the position of the occupant’s head and ears so that the occupant does not miss any sound by turning their head or sticking out the window.
Another patent application deals with how to install external speakers in the doors, taking into account the effect on sound projection when the doors are opened or closed.
In addition, when a user brings a portable electronic device (such as a mobile phone) into the vehicle, the vehicle can seamlessly receive audio content from the portable electronic device and produce better sound effects through the speakers in the car. If multiple passengers carry mobile phones at the same time, Apple Car will also provide functions such as shared playback, allowing passengers to share and control audio content with each other.
Apple will also bring its technology in spatial audio, a technology that simulates a three-dimensional sound field, to the car, giving listeners the perception that sound is coming from different directions. Apple has already rolled out the technology in devices like the iPhone and Vision Pro, and now it plans to bring group spatial audio to cars. This means that Apple cars will be able to adjust the direction and effects of spatial audio based on the seat orientation and preferences of different passengers. This is especially important for self-driving cars, which may have different seating layouts than conventional cars, such as having seats facing each other or facing a central location to allow communication or interaction between passengers.
While Apple still hasn’t officially confirmed the existence of its car project, the patent filings suggest that Apple is building a never-before-seen sound system for its cars.