Newly released patent is latest hint towards Apple’s AR glasses

Newly released patent is latest hint towards Apple’s AR glasses
Apple Glasses is the name the internet has collectively given to Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset. This mysterious product has allegedly been in development over at Cupertino for many years now and occasionally there are clues as to what it might actually be. To read learn more about it, check our Apple Glasses rumor review.

Today we have one of those cases when something that isn’t related to Apple Glasses at a first glance might be a sign of what’s to come. A patent filed by Apple in April last year but published today was spotted by AppleInsider and contains some curious information.

The patent is titled “Authenticated device assisted user authentication” and as you’ve probably guessed, it’s about a new authentication method. The problem this method aims to address is having to constantly unlock devices you’re using in close succession which wastes time and is just plain annoying.

To do that Apple is planning to introduce one device that has the authentication information and transmits it to other locked devices when the user intends to use them. This is an important distinction from current solutions that Apple and Android use, based purely on the proximity of the “key” device. Relying on proximity alone is a security risk as someone might get a hold of your device and use it while remaining nearby.

Intent detection means devices will need to have a way to know you’re looking at them (cameras, or movement sensors). Or, alternatively, the “key” device should know what gadget you’re looking to use and unlock it for you. That’s where things get interesting.

The drawing included in the patent shows a person wearing a headset that’s using a watch, a phone and a computer. You can see the image below:

Four things this Apple patent tells us

1. The headset is clearly not VR if the user has to interact with other displays instead of being immersed in some sort of virtual environment. 

2. Apple isn’t looking to replace its other products, at least not for now. So, Apple Glasses are meant as another product every true fan of the brand should have in order to interact more seamlessly with the rest of the ecosystem.

Some might argue that products like the Apple Watch can’t be replaced because it contains all sorts of sensors for health-related data like heartbeat. But there probably are ways to gather that data with a device strapped to your head just as well.

3. Apple Glasses will be light and comfortable enough to wear basically all the time. Now, we don’t know if that means there will be Apple Glasses with prescription lenses, but it seems like Apple wants you to have them on during the day. It wouldn’t be very convenient if you had to put them on only so that you can unlock your computer quicker, would it?

4. there will be at least one camera on the headset. Now, that sounds like a no-brainer for an AR headset, but some experts cited privacy concerns as a reason for Apple to make the glasses just a wearable display for information and omit the cameras.

But if we deduce from the image below that it’s the headset that recognizes the Apple product you’re looking at and then unlocks it, then it must have a camera.

Without a doubt, the day Apple decides to release its headset mark the beginning of a new era, just like it was with the announcements of the iPod and the iPhone. We’re likely not close to that day just yet but the pieces are slowly coming together and we can’t wait to see what the end result will be.


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