Feb 29, 2020

Apple Patent Reveals AR Or VR Headsets Could Unlock Multiple Devices Automatically

According to a patent application document published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), Apple may be planning to enable users to automatically unlock another nearby device through, say, a head-mounted AR or VR headset or smart glasses.


This will be particularly helpful if users can more efficiently and quickly unlock multiple devices. as if users have multiple devices on hand, one of the problems they encounter is the necessity to authenticate each device. For instance, one may have to unlock the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac multiple times a day.

The patent application called "Authenticated Device Assisted User Authentication," states that Apple intends to extend the idea to other devices, allowing users to authenticate device automatically unlocks another device near it.

Apple said the device would be smart glasses, AR or VR headsets. After the user manually unlocks them, these devices will automatically unlock certain devices in the vicinity of the user, leaving the user to access some functions in the surrounding devices, and what functions can be used depends on the user's prior configuration.

The patent specifies that the AR or VR headset is worn by the user can trigger the "Nearby Authentication" function for these locked devices to determine the intent of the user and send the authentication data to the locked device to be unlocked.

As for which devices are nearby, and the motives of the user, there are many ways to identify them. Apple's patent indicates that the device's image sensor can be used to detect a locked device and to assess its position relative to the user for intent analysis. Intent analysis can be done by using other sensors such as ultrawide-band radios.

Depending on the user's detected intent, the device could send a second authentication message to the unlocked device, telling it to relock. This may prevent the system from being unlocked for a longer period, thus guaranteeing the safety of user data. It also helps to correct a misinterpretation scenario where a smart headgear unlocks a locked device that the user thinks might use, but the user isn't using it.

Apple filed this patent on Aug 27, 2018, and it doesn't mean that the company will put it in real use.

Image Via AppleInsider

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