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Apple investigating noise-reducing windscreen case for iPhone

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Apple has applied for a patent on a removable case design for the iPhone that would include a windscreen over the device's microphone to enhance audio quality.

The application, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and uncovered by AppleInsider on Thursday, describes a case that could be made out of plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate, silicon or rubber. The windscreen portion of the case could be made out of a mesh, foam, or feather-like structure.

"The removable case includes an opening that aligns with a microphone port that is built into the device," Apple's application reads. "A windscreen is sealed across the opening of the case. The windscreen is designed to reduce wind noise, air blasts, vocal plosives, and other noise."

The windscreen would also double as protection for the microphone by keeping "moisture, dirt, or dust" out.

Apple's filing is also of interest because it describes the company's view on reasons for adding a case to an iPhone. The company said cases have been developed for a "variety of reasons," such as for protection when placed in a handbag, to add a method for affixing the device and aesthetic features that allow a users to "express her personality."

The invention's description of the removable case notes that the accessory could also be called a skin, bumper, or cover.

Patent


Apple has generally taken a minimalist approach to the cases it designs for its iPhone and iPad devices. In 2010, the company released a $29 Bumper case alongside the iPhone 4. After Apple began receiving complaints that the iPhone 4 was subject to signal loss when held a certain way, the iPhone maker gave away free cases to customers.

iPhone 4 Smash


In 2011, Apple announced a magnetic Smart Cover for the iPad 2. The USPTO granted Apple a design patent for the Smart Cover in April. This year, Apple revised the Smart Cover to also protect the back of the new iPad and dubbed the new accessory the Smart Case.

Case
post #2 of 10

Would be nice if they would make the Smart Cases in some new colors.  Maybe something a bit less pastel w/o having to resort to grey.  The windscreen is a nice idea.

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Would be nice if they would make the Smart Cases in some new colors.  Maybe something a bit less pastel w/o having to resort to grey.  The windscreen is a nice idea.

If they were to put this windscreen in the bumper and smart cases I might actually buy them

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #4 of 10

If it's windy, I just cup my hand a little more.  Never had any problems.

iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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post #5 of 10
Isn't that what the second microphone is for?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

Would be nice if they would make the Smart Cases in some new colors.  Maybe something a bit less pastel w/o having to resort to grey.  The windscreen is a nice idea.

I switched to a SmartCase from a SmartCover after a drop on the driveway cost me $250 and a restore. The new case does have a bit more cushion and probably would have saved my iPad from destruction. I should note that I have dropped my 3G and 4S both on tile and/or carpet without issue the more flexible iPad popped the glass.

I too would like a different color choice (and leather would be nice even if poly inside) since I purchased Product Red case and had the leather Product Red cover. The color differences for Red is really different for the poly vs. leather. I do miss the feel and color of the leather.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Isn't that what the second microphone is for?

 


The second mike can't really help with plosives, because they are generated by the user. 

Noise cancellation might help a little with wind, but not as directly as a windscreen.

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #8 of 10

Sheez, instead of building it into an external case, why not just build it into the phone?

Does Apple expect users to cary a case around to use when the wind blows?

Adress the underlying illness, not the symptom.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Sheez, instead of building it into an external case, why not just build it into the phone?

Does Apple expect users to cary a case around to use when the wind blows?

Adress the underlying illness, not the symptom.

Perhaps because the windscreen is on the surface and is made of a thin rubbery, feather-like material which is not that durable. The plastic case can be replaced as needed but if it were part of the phone the device would need to be sent in for repair periodically.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #10 of 10

This should be a standard that is set into every Apple approved case.

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