What Does The New Apple Patent Mean for AR?

Apple recently released a patent that reveals how an AR headset can be used to unlock multiple devices at the same time. The system involves wearing a head-mounted wearable device that could verify the identity of a user and could be another clue pointing towards an augmented experience from Apple.


The newly published patent is titled ‘Authenticated Device Assisted User Authentication’ and its description states:

“The system includes an authenticated device that is worn by a user as a head-mounted device, wherein the user is currently authenticated to access a restricted-access function of the authenticated device.”

“The system also includes a proximate device that has a locked state and an unlocked state, wherein a restricted-access function of the proximate device is inaccessible by the user in the locked state, and the restricted-access function of the proximate device is accessible by the user in the unlocked state.”



The patent diagrams (above) shows someone wearing an AR/VR headset and using it to unlock multiple devices all at the same time. Also within the patent are some clear clues that Apple may be looking further into an augmented or virtual reality experience:

“The head-mounted wearable device 222 may include one or more presentation units operable to present or display audio, visual, or both, content to the user 230, such as in an augmented reality configuration, a mixed reality configuration, or a virtual reality configuration. “

Apple Glasses is the name the internet has generally bestowed upon Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset. A 2020 release date was looking likely, but it now appears that Apple has pushed the date back to 2022.

The Information have been reporting that Apple executives have shared a roadmap which includes plans for two augmented reality devices at a private internal meeting. These are rumored to be an augmented-reality headset set to appear in 2022 and AR glasses coming a year later in 2023.

The problem this patent appears to aim to address is having to constantly unlock devices you’re using in close succession, saving you time and creating more efficiency. This of course means that Apple seem likely to integrate AR into the wider collection of apple products, linking all up as it has done previously with features like Airdrop. This begs the question; can Apple conquer AR as they have with other products and become the go to manufacturer of Augmented Reality products?


This could signal another leap forward for consumer augmented reality, when you think of the ways in which Apple have previously put their own spin on different technologies, leading to further creativity in the immersive space. Competition is never a bad thing for technological advancement, as it forces competitors to push harder, think bigger and ultimately innovate whilst jostling for position.