Earphones that can tell right from left
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The universal earphones will be able to automatically detect which ear they are in and adjust the sound accordingly.
Each earbud will contain a microchip able to sense its proximity to the ear, which will vary slightly depending upon the placements of the earphones. Once the earphones determine which ear they are in, the sound will be directed to the proper channels.
It is also possible to use a sensor that will detect when the earphones are removed from the ears, automatically pausing or stopping the audio device.