Apple’s patents almost always manage to give is a sneak peek of the future. Apple’s latest patent application is titled “Dual speaker enabled cooling” and reveals how speakers can be used for cooling components.
Yes, you heard it right, the patent details how one could use out of phase speakers to cool components. This is especially useful for audio systems that are compact and have no room for a fan or other thermal management systems. Smart speakers often pack in a great deal of hardware within a compact form factor. In cases like this Apple’s internal cooling will help dissipate heat and increase efficiency.
Furthermore, the noise produced by the internal cooling fan will sound weird in an audio system or a smart speaker. As per the patent application, Apple makes use of certain speaker configurations in order to generate internal airflow and eventually help in dissipating heat. Apple is rumored to launch a new smaller HomePod in 2020 and the new cooling technology might come in handy.
The patent points out how in-phase and out-of-phase movement of the speakers can be channelized to produce internal airflow. In order for this to happen, the speakers and air-ducts need to be arranged in a specific manner. Apple might also end up using a processor designed to deliver signals from one loudspeaker to another.
Speaker vibrates while producing sounds. In-phase refers to an arrangement when both the movement of both speakers is in the same direction. Meanwhile, when out-of-phase the vibration of speakers is in the opposite direction. The patent also refers to a system that intelligently decides whether or not cooling is required by measuring the internal and ambient temperature. Interestingly, the system is designed to cool without the need to turn off the audio system.[via USPTO]