The Apple AR/VR headset isn’t official yet, but leaks surrounding it keep coming in — and the latest to arrive shows how the device could work with other Apple products, like the iPhone and HomePods.
A patent filed in Europe (via MacRumors) describes “multi-device continuity for use with extended reality (XR) systems,” and expands on continuity features (such as Handoff and Universal Control) already available on existing Apple devices.
We assume the same rules of continuity will apply to the upcoming AR/VR (or XR) headset: As long as you’re signed into the same Apple ID on all your devices, they’ll work together seamlessly using technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Ease of use
The patent gives some examples of how this works. In one, someone wearing a headset was looking at an email on an iPhone, which they could then throw onto a larger virtual screen with a hand gesture or a look.
In the same way, it will be possible to transfer music playback from the iPhone to the HomePod – all you have to do while wearing the headset is to make a gesture or just switch your gaze to change hardware. You’ll also be able to have additional screens and widgets appear in augmented reality while you’re looking at your Mac’s screen, for example.
You get the main idea. Of course the usual patent disclaimer applies: These patents don’t necessarily end up as shipped products or features, though they do give us an idea of what companies are currently exploring.
Analysis: Continuity is key
Most of the time, the Continuity features that Apple has introduced into their products make life much easier and more convenient. Recently, macOS got the ability to use a nearby iPhone as a webcam for example – a clever and well-executed idea.
It’s really no surprise that Apple would want to extend this to their upcoming AR/VR headset. The device doesn’t launch in a vacuum: Apple has a solid ecosystem of products that can help make headphones more attractive.
In the same way that the Apple Watch has become a coveted accessory for the iPhone, an AR/VR headset can be positioned as something not only cool on its own, but also when working alongside iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more.
As with all of these leaks and rumors, we’ll have to wait and see. Most of the chatter we’ve heard so far points to the launch of the new device in 2023, although it’s likely that the price of the first version will be higher than most average consumers’ budget.
- We’re seeing a lot of iPhone 15 rumors, too