Apple AirPods Pro 2 could be controlled via your teeth — here's how

AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Rumors for the Apple AirPods Pro 2 have been ramping up for some time now, but today we’ve come across one so weird we kind of want it to be true. Apparently, the AirPods 2 might be controlled by clicking your teeth.

Or at least, that’s the speculation based on a new Apple patent, discovered by Patently Apple. It’s a patent that involves using your body parts to control the earbuds, including some options that are just plain strange.

We’ve already heard rumors that the AirPods Pro 2 will be able to detect in-air hand gestures, but now Apple has a patent for a whole new range of input controls. The controls are described as a “through body” sensor system that the AirPods Pro 2 will be able to detect and process as commands.

The simplest explanation of this system is that the AirPods Pro 2, or some other kind of earbud, would be able to detect signals running in or outside a “structure” and interpret them accordingly. Those structures could be various parts of your body, including the ear canal, head, body parts and even your teeth.

"The user may contact an exterior surface of his or her body, such as the skin on his or her face. Further examples of input actions include a user clicking his or her teeth together or clicking his or her tongue," Apple's patent explained. 

Less crazy options also include shaking your head, moving your arms around, and using both vocal sounds and subvocalizations (sounds undetectable by human ears) to control a pair of earbuds or another wearable device with a through body sensor system.

Those structures aren't limited to your own body either, since the patent describes being able to use other objects as well. Examples include tapping a table or squeezing someone else’s arm if you really wanted to.

While people around you may find clicking your teeth may be less annoying than calling up Siri to get stuff done, having to grab their arm to answer a phone call (or something like it) is probably pushing things too far.

Of course, subtle non-vocal commands would be very useful. But since patents don’t always make it to production, we don’t know if and when we’ll see these control features in a pair of AirPods. 

But we could see simpler takes on the through body sensor system make it into the AirPods Pro 2, alongside an ambient light sensor to help with health and wellness tracking. If nothing else, we're expecting the AirPods Pro 2 to come with boosted audio quality and improved active noise cancellation.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.