You’ve no doubt been oblivious to things being said to you while wearing headphones in the past but that could be about to change with an Amazon-developed pair that will turn off when your name is called.
As FACT report, Amazon is moving into the headphone game after being granted a patent for these headphones that turn off when specific sounds or keywords are heard.
It’s a move to make headphone safer and more practical as many noise cancelling headphones these days block out important sounds like sirens.
Amazon filed the patent back in 2014 and attached with it a diagram (below) that shows simplistically how they would work. It looks like they’re using similar technology to that used in their Echo speaker which can be controlled by your voice.
CNET further reports that the patent application description notes that they’re working on training microphones (presumably included in the headphones) to listen out for two-part voice commands like, “Hey Justin”.
There’s already an earbud on the market that does a similar thing. The Here One wireless earbuds by startup Doppler Labs turn off when they hear sounds like sirens but they don’t respond to voice.
A patent approval doesn’t mean that the headphones will be hitting the shelves anytime soon. It’s likely to be a long time before they go to market, if they do at all, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless.