True wireless in-ear headphones like the Apple AirPods are small, lightweight, totally comfortable - and pretty rugged. The last point was examined by an AirPod owner involuntarily, because he had swallowed an AirPod in his sleep. However, it still worked perfectly after coming out of the other end!
Let's start at the beginning. Ben Hsu from Taiwan claims that he fell asleep with his AirPods in his ears. When he woke up, one of the two headphones had disappeared. Using the iPhone's tracking feature, he searched for the AirPod, found out it still had to be in the room, and turned on the beep sound to find the AirPod. As Hsu walked around the room to locate the beep, he realized that the sound was following him.
"I searched under the blanket and looked around, but couldn't find it - then I realized that the sound was coming from my stomach," said Hsu. The man claims not to have felt any discomfort. Nevertheless, Hsu went to the hospital for an examination. The result: the small headphone had already embarked on an exciting journey through his digestive system. Hsu was able to avoid an operation because of the design of the headphones, as the attending physician Dr. Chen Chieh-Fan emphasizes: "Because of the plastic cover of the AirPod, the risk for him was significantly lower than if he had swallowed a lithium-ion battery directly."
The story sounds quite adventurous. One should assume that one would notice and wake up, if one swallowed something of the size of an AirPod, though. In the case of Ben Hsu, however, this does not seem to have been the case. The swallowed AirPod can even be seen on an X-ray image that Hsu provided to AsiaWire magazine.
I will spare you the details at this point, but not the good news: after the swallowed AirPod came back to light and was thoroughly cleaned, it still worked without any problems. "The battery was still at 41 percent! It was incredible," said Ben Hsu, full of joy. His provided a one-word description of the experience: "Magical!"
Is it this kind of "magic" that Apple invokes again and again in its keynotes?