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Smart Left-Right Wearing Side Detection / Left-Ear Right-Ear Detection (LERED) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234079D
Publication Date: 2014-Jan-09
Document File: 7 page(s) / 340K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This invention detects which ear the device is on, e.g. left ear or right ear, and uses this information to improve the user experience, comfort and safety. One primary detection method of this invention is to utilize the human ear front-to-back asymmetry and capacitance touch sensor technology with a cap-sensor array. Another detection method could be a switch on a rotating boom using this signal, e.g. sends a signal to a processor denoting the boom position, so that, in one example, when the boom is rotated in a clock-wise direction into a predetermined range, it is concluded that the headset is positioned on the right ear, boom facing forward.

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Page 01 of 7


1. Title of Invention

Smart left-right wearing-side detection aka Left-Ear / Right-Ear Detection (LERED)

2. Application / Relation to Current Projects

Any headset product that supports stereo (either for entertainment like music/video/gaming or for telephony)


Field of the Invention:

General description:

Left-right wearing side detection; Sensor technology;

Specific description:

Human head front-back asymmetry; Capacitance touch sensor;

Sensor array;

Unidirectional microphone;

Ear coupling



Problem: Since the very first stereo headphone in the world, users always must correctly put the device on following the legible mark of L/R printed on the headphone. If the side is reversed, the sound image will be reversed too.

But in today's headphones/headsets, there are smart sensors/chips/software around. This invention intends to describe some possible ways for these active headphones and headsets to automatically detect left-right wearing side, based on prior knowledge of human head front-to-back asymmetry. Then this information can be used for subsequent software actions like reversing L-R accordingly, adjusting button configurations, etc...

The value of this invention is that such smart device can save user from paying attention to ensure the correctness of the L-R side when wearing. This isn't too much effort from user standpoint but it is very unique added-value to save users from this effort, from the device perspective.


Previous Solutions:


Page 02 of 7

The Japanese Researchers at the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project ( in Tokyo have developed a pair of "Universal Earphones" that automatically switch the audio channels when they detect that you've placed an earbud in the wrong ear, using proximity sensor.


The limitation of their solution is that it mostly works well with in-the-ear earbud and the sensor stands a little protrusive, because it requires the proximity sensor facing towards the wall of ear pinna.

In Lync Audio Spec rev. G clause (Stereo Audio Rendering - Requirement), it's mentioned:

Some headsets can rotate the microphone boom such that they can be worn also with the left loudspeaker sitting on the right ear. It is recommended that such devices detect automatically whether the user is wearing the headset correctly or left and right loudspeaker are reversed. This could be achieved e.g. by detecting the microphone boom orientation. Using this detection it is recommended that the device automatically routes the left and right audio channel to the left and right ear respectively.


Description of the Invention:

One primary detection method of this invention is to utilize the human ear front-to-back asymmetry and capacitance touch sensor technology with a cap-sensor array. The array can have at least two sensors; can be up to 5 o...