Apple wants to make unlocking multiple devices in quick succession easier with the help of authentication of a head-mounted AR or a VR heads. Apple is working on smart glasses so that it can allow other nearby items to get automatic user authentication.
One of the key problems of users with multiple devices is that they have to authenticate each and every one of them individually. Just for an example, suppose that a person wants to unlock an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple Watch, a Mac, and other Apple devices multiple times in a day.
With Face ID and Touch ID authentication, Apple has already attempted at cutting down the time to get access but the process still absorbs a good amount of time. Apple considers that it can be fixed with authentication by proximity.
Yesterday, in a patent titled “Authenticated Device Assisted User Authentication”, Apple proposed expanding the idea to other hardware systems in allowing the owner of an authenticated device to grant access to restricted functions of another item. The patent was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
In the patent, Apple elaborated that an authenticated device could take the form of a “head-mounted device,” such as smart glasses or an AR or a VR headset. Here, user authentication is done manually and it grants a level of access depending upon its configuration.
One of the user’s device, say an iPhone or iPad might be at a locked state by default which means it would be technically inaccessible without authentication. From now on, the worn headset would use its proximity to the locked device to determine the intention of the user and then it will prompt and send authentication data to the locked device in order to identify the user.
Now, depending on user settings or configuration, the authentication data could be used to unlock the device. While proximity and intent can be determined by a number of ways, the company has suggested a headset because image sensors could be used for spotting the locked hardware and determining its position relative to the user intent. Other options with which it can be done is with ultrawideband radios.
It should be noted that in general, Apple files numerous patents on a weekly basis. These patents simply reveal the company’s area of interest and nothing more because most of the patents never turn into a reality. However, with this, we can have a better understanding that what the company is developing or focusing on currently.