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New patent suggests Shazam might become much creepier in the future

Shazam 20 years logo
(Image credit: Apple)

While you may know Shazam as the popular music recognition app that Apple bought in 2018, it seems that Apple may be envisioning big things for the future of the software.

A patent found by Patently Apple (opens in new tab) describes the future of Shazam as more than just a music recognition service you activate, but rather a way for Apple to tell if you're enjoying the music you're listening to and then automatically start Shazam to identify the song playing. How exactly would Shazam do this? Well, the idea is that it could "determine that a user is interested in audio content by determining that a movement, such as a head bob, and trigger the app to identify the tune that you're enjoying based on your head movement to the beat." 

Of course, it would be hard for your iPhone to do this by itself, which is why the patent has suggested that Shazam might come to more devices like "headphones, a Mixed Reality HMD, an iPad, smart contact lenses, a heads-up display on a vehicle windshield, etc."

It's not just head bobbing either that Apple may want this theoretical feature to identify, but other moves such as "foot tapping, a leap of joy, first pump, facial reaction, or other movements indicative of user interest."

Personally, the idea of my AirPods Pro 2 (opens in new tab) being able to know if I'm smiling to music I hear around me is cool and creepy all at the same time. 

Auto Shazam might get a lot creepier

Suppose you have the Shazam app (yes, it's still an app) on your iPhone. In that case, you can turn on Auto Shazam, a feature that will run in the background and identify songs for you, but this could take that to a whole new level, especially since Auto Shazam is only available on iPhone at the moment.

Whether you find this neat, weird, or both, it's important to remember that patents mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Apple files many patents for software, hardware, and everything in between that will likely never see the light of day. 

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.