Apple Patent for Orientation-Based Audio System

A patent application displayed in the U.S Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday presents a new invention developed by Apple. The invention is referring to various research methods to ensure the fact a video’s multi-channel audio is always played back correctly, despite the way a user holds the device.

The patent filling called “Orientation-based audio” presents a system that exists in a mobile device’s internal sensors, including accelerometer, gyroscope and cameras, among others, in order to synchronize audio output from multiple speakers.

Apple patent for orientation-based audio

Basically, this means that the orientation of the device will not longer be a problem for the quality of the sound emitted by the respective iOS device. Now, the device will use various methods through which the video’s multi-channel audio is always played back correctly, despite the way the device is placed.

As far as the embodiment is concerned, the orientation of video being displayed on a device is used to determine the relative position of speakers to the left and right of the screen. Stereo audio is then routed to the correct speakers. The release note also describes the way in which a device is determined to be rotating based on various sensor data. The respective data is used to switch or route the audio to the appropriate speakers.

In order to make things even clearer, an example is provided. If an iPad Mini user moves from viewing a movie with the tablet positions with the home button up, the right and left audio channels would be switched to compensate for the 180-degree orientation. This will increase the quality of the sound offered by the respective device.

However, the invention can be applied only to certain devices, more precisely to those devices who own multiple speakers, or at least more than two speakers. As the examples suggested, there is a need to have three or more outputs. Along with the speaker mapping, the processor can mix and set what would normally be center channel audio through a set of two speakers if the third one is not present.

It is worth mentioning the fact that the device is not locked on a particular viewing mode like “portrait” or “landscape”. Whenever the video-channel is used, the processor will actively reroute audio depending on what orientation the video is being displayed. When the rotation or orientation is perceived, the processor creates a new map of the device and redirects the sound accordingly. User customization settings can limit the switching to certain angles, such as 90-degree or full 180-degree rotation.

For now, Apple’s line of products only offers one product with stereo speakers, and this is the iPad mini. However, the invention might be implemented in future devices or even on the existing models. Alternatively, the filling can be applied to MacBook Pros or any other similar hardware.

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