Induction (Wireless) Charging Earbuds

Hi everybody I’m wondering if my concept I attached for wireless charging earbuds is possible, once the tech gets small enough? The wearable wireless charger (bright red) would attach magnetically to the truly wireless earbuds when it needs juice. That way the experience is not interrupted for charging. Thoughts?

Its conceivable doable. I think the interface on the wire part would likely be thicker and what does that battery box look like? The weight of the battery might be the biggest issue.It will be pulling the cables down putting force on the magnetic attachment to the earbuds. You might want to just mock up a little something real quick with magnets hot glued to an old pair of earbuds and some cable with a battery pack taped to it.

With an Over-the-ear design this is a realistic concept from all perspectives.

Yes will definitely mock something up. But I think the battery could be worn as a necklace, similar to Vi headphones image attached. This way the user can easily snap on the charger without fumbling to put on an over-the-ear piece. The way the cords are, it doesn’t seem to pull down much.

Conceptually feasible, the biggest risk I see is I can’t say I have ever seen an inductive coil that is 3 dimensionally curved. The way inductive charging works I’m not sure if that shape would result in the magnetic field being directed all over the place. But I’m willing to believe it could be done, even if it involved flattening the mating surface.

With that said, if the design was more important than the wireless charging, you could easily achieve this with an Airpod-like approach where there were two small metal contacts on the outside of the headphone and your magnetic loop simply held the charge contacts in place.

OK, but you didn’t show that… :slight_smile:

Also, those neck-worn wireless headphones are some of the top selling headphones in the US right now (is having that hideous u on your neck easier than having a cord to your phone?)… I think they are as dork-burger as a single ear bluetooth headset, but those sold a lot as well…

I finally had time to make mock-ups to see if the battery would pull the earbuds out.
The earbuds stayed on when it had a wingtip or an over the ear hook feature.
So from there I made 3 battery charger (A-C) concepts and 3 earbud (1-3) concepts.
Any opinions on a winning configuration?

For example configuration 1/A or 1/C wouldn’t work as the earbud would fall out, but 1/B could work.

Battery charger

You have to choose a very specific target group here and do some research because what people want to wear is dependent on how they make choices on what they wear, the technological augmentation and interactions they prefer and also what sports means to them. If you focus on sports. You have to get the context clear first. If I look at people in my neighborhood, there are a lot of runners and some professional soccer players as well, almost nobody runs with headphones and if they do, it’s the over the ear design which is quite easy to wear too and actually associated with sports. I like them, they look professional like you are dedicated. My own preference as a runner for wireless headphones is to leave all wires at home, also do the charging at home, and induction would be great just like you can do with smartwatches. It doesn’t even need a terminal penetrating a coil. I would prefer to have each headphone completely wireless, hook to the ear, with enough battery built in. Even if it would look a bit clunky I would prefer that over anything that looks wired.

1/B is my preference so far. I’m sure in the future all electronics for a music player can be integrated into the device.

I just saw someone has developed these, very much in line with your initial render but larger and with a pocket-worn charging sleeve device.
If that is not you, beware of protecting your IP!

That is not me… what is the device called?
How do I protect IP on my concepts that are online for the world to see?

Thanks for letting me know @ralphzoontjens!

Forget it! :slight_smile:
The only way to protect your ideas is to not put them online. You can only really stop them from using your images.

It depends what you consider IP. It isn’t likely there is a utility patent here. Perhaps a design patent, which are very difficult to defend.

I get what you’re trying to achieve but I feel that induction charging is inefficient for this application.

For this to work, you have to go battery (DC) - inversion (go to AC) - induction (wireless) - rectification (AC back to DC) - decoupling and regulation - charge the earbud battery. Each of those processes has an energy loss that quickly mounts up.

Wireless charging is really only effective if your original power supply is AC. With a battery supply, you may as well design some sort of connection so the process can become: external battery - connector - charge earbud battery. The concepts you already have could be easily adapted to facilitate this.

I think what you are proposing is something like the ELWN Fit earbuds (which I just recently discovered)
If I went that route I feel like my concept may start becoming too similar to ELWN…
ELWN Charging.jpg

Are those USB-A connectors? Or Micro USB’s that just look large because of the scale?

They’re micro USB, you’re right they look bigger because of the scale.
The wearable battery (what they call the infinity band) also charges via micro USB.

Ok thanks. That makes more sense. Too bad they didn’t use USB-C. They are just so much cleaner looking and the fact that you can put them in eaither way is so nice. Really the core problems with these things are battery life (run time) and battery life (draining your phone by contantly using BT)… I find using a corded headphone much simpler than always remembering to charge my headphones after two hours of use. At some point battery tech will catch up but it isn’t there yet for daily long term use.

I bought some pretty awesome and tiny bluetooth earbuds here in HK for about 30usd. They look like a lipstick when charging, but they work really well for me. I use them one at a time, while the other is charging. They secure to the charger with magnets and have small springloaded connecters.

Pics here:

That is a nice solution.