The Apple AR/VR headset hasn’t been officially announced yet, but leaks keep popping up around it — the latest outlining how the device will work with other Apple products like the iPhone and HomePods.
a patent (opens in a new tab) Submitted in Europe (via mike rumors (opens in a new tab)) describes “Multi-Device Continuity for Extended Reality (XR) Systems” and extends the continuity features already present on existing Apple gadgets such as toggles and universal controls.
We’re assuming the same Continuity rules will apply to upcoming AR/VR (or XR) headsets: As long as you’re signed into the same Apple ID on all devices, they’ll work seamlessly together using technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
easy to use
The patent provides several examples of how this might work. For one, the person wearing the headset would check email on the iPhone, which could then be thrown onto a larger virtual display using gestures or eye contact.
In the same way, it’s possible to transfer music playback from an iPhone to a HomePod—all you need to do when you put on the headphones is make a gesture, or just switch your gaze to change devices. For example, you can also display additional screens and widgets in augmented reality while viewing your Mac screen.
you understood. Of course, the usual patent disclaimers apply: these patents don’t necessarily end up in a shipped product or feature, though they do give us an idea of what the company is currently exploring.
Analysis: Continuity is key
Most of the time, the Continuity features that Apple bakes into its products make life easier and more convenient. Recently, for example, macOS was able to use a nearby iPhone as a webcam—a clever idea, and one that’s well implemented.
It’s really no surprise that Apple wants to extend this to its upcoming AR/VR headsets. The device didn’t come out of thin air: Apple has a strong ecosystem of products that could help increase the headphone’s appeal.
Just like the Apple Watch has become an ideal accessory for the iPhone, AR/VR headsets can be used not only on their own, but also with iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.
For all these leaks and rumors, we’ll have to wait and see. Most of the discussions we’ve heard so far point to a new device coming in 2023, though the first version will likely be priced above the budget of most average consumers.