Earbuds That Fit Inside a Smartphone Is Equal Parts Smart and Stupid

With phones like the MiMix Alpha and its mysterious tri-fold prototype, Xiaomi is no stranger when it comes to dreaming up far out concept devices. But in a recently discovered patent, Xiaomi may have come up with a novel smartphone idea thats better left on paper.

In a recent patent filed to the Hague International Design system (which is part of the World Intellectual Property Office), Xiaomi describes a phone that comes with foldable earbuds that are designed to be stowed away inside the phone when not in use. No extra charging case required.

In theory, the idea makes a lot of sense, because with so many people switching over the wireless headphones like Apples AirPods or Samsungs Galaxy Buds, being able to stash your earbuds inside your phone would mean you can leave the earbuds charging case at home. And when the earbuds get low on juice, you could simply put them back in the phone where they could recharge by leeching off your phones much larger battery.

But what makes the idea really come to life is a set of product renders based on Xiaomis patent filing created by Dutch tech website LetsGoDigital that shows what Xiaomis concept might look like in the real world. According to the patent, the key trick to getting earbuds to fit inside a phone without becoming a clunky nuisance is the use of a small hinge that allows the headphones earpiece to swivel depending on the situation.

When used as headphones, the earbuds earpiece could be swivelled and adjusted so that they could p....

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