Amazon might be getting into the noise-canceling headphone biz - only its headphones are really smart.

The thing about noise-canceling headphones is that they let you block out all the sound surrounding you, letting you focus on the audio coming in from the two cans attached to your ears. They're marvelous little things, but they're also super inconvenient for those nearby who might want to get your attention, as you likely won't be able to hear them as they call your name.

In an attempt to make this problem no more, Amazon has been awarded a patent for a new type of noise-canceling headphones that can actively listen for specific sounds - whether that be sirens or even someone yelling your name. When it detects one of these types of sounds, it'll stop the noise-canceling aspect of the headphones, enabling you to hear the world around you.

Amazon's patent describes a technology that can analyse noise for distinct triggers. Amazon is likely building off its existing technology, as it has already done a lot of work in voice-recognition through its Amazon Echo platform.

As always though, this is just a patent and may never come to fruition. Still, it's cool to see what the company is dreaming up for potential future products.

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