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Apple's next AirPods Pro could have a terrifying new security feature

Woman wearing AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

From a brand new design to awesome sound quality enhancements, we've heard plenty of tantalising rumours about the so-called AirPods Pro 2. And if Apple's latest patent filing is anything to go by, they could be the company's most secure set of wireless earphones too. 

A new patent filing has revealed that Apple is working on tech that would allow AirPods to identify users by the shape of their ears. It sounds a little like Face ID for iPhone (Ear ID?), and could restrict usage for anyone whose ears aren't, um, yours. And what's more, the next AirPods could even detect your walking gait. Check out the best AirPods Pro deals if you're after the best Apple earphones available now.

Apple AirPods Pro review

The current AirPods Pro 2 (Image credit: Future)

As spotted by Patently Apple (opens in new tab), the patent details how future AirPods could detect the shape of the wearer’s ear canal. The obvious security benefit here is that unauthorised users would be prevented from wearing somebody else's AirPods and potentially gaining access to personal information. 

Future AirPods could feature new biometric measures "such as identifying the user's inner ear construction". But even more impressive (and admittedly a little terrifying) is the suggestion that the AirPods could even use "information regarding a user's walking and/or running characteristics" as an identifier. And we thought those teeth-controlled AirPods rumours sounded weird.

AirPods Pro

We've heard plenty of rumours about the next generation of AirPods pro (Image credit: Apple)

"Conventional systems may risk releasing personal information from an associated device to unauthorized wearers of corresponding headphones," the patent explains. Of course, anyone planning to make nefarious use of AirPods via Siri would need to be close to the owner's unlocked iPhone – but any kind of increased security is, of course, a plus.

From a new wireless output standard to replace Bluetooth, to a radically different, stem-less design, we've heard all manner of tidbits about the upcoming AirPods Pro 2. Don't fancy waiting to find out what's coming? Check out the best Apple deals available now.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).