Apple patented a design for earbuds that don’t fall out of your ears if you try to do some exercise last year. The patent describes an earpiece with a bendy outer section that forms to fit the user’s ear.
This wasn’t particularly revolutionary when it comes to earbud design in general, but it is a step away from the hard earpieces Apple gives you when you buy its products. They have a tendency to bounce out of your ear if you do anything more strenuous than walking or sitting down, and they can get really uncomfortable after a while.
While we can’t say for certain whether the patent relates to this exact model, Apple has been selling versions like this for a while now.
The pliant outer section attaches to the top of the hard earpiece housing:
Then folds back over to cover it:
Here’s how that would look on the inside, with uncomfortable bits of plastic nicely covered:
The patent pointed out that these earbuds could connect to a device wirelessly or with a cable.