Apple has applied for a patent for an Apple Headset Continuity feature, so that a user could (for example) create a document on a Mac, and then use a really slick user interface to transfer it to a headset like the anticipated Reality Pro.
It also describes an equally slick way to handle audio Handoff using nothing more than glances and a gesture …
Apple’s Continuity feature is designed to allow customers to work seamlessly between devices. You could, for example, create a Pages document on a Mac, and write the first few paragraphs; complete it on an iPad; and then make edits on an iPhone.
The reality is often not quite as seamless, given iCloud syncing delays, but it’s a handy feature for those who like to mix-and-match devices.
Slick Apple Headset Continuity feature
Patently Apple spotted the patent application. Apple sometimes disguises the exact purpose of a patent by using very general language, but in this case lays it out right in the title: Multi-device continuity for use with extended reality systems.
The document describes a slick way to open a document on the headset.
Implementations of the subject technology described herein provide transfer of content, editing control of the content, and/or control of one or more applications from one device to another device, using an XR system. For example, with the subject technology, a user drafting an email on their smart phone can place the smartphone in the field of view of an XR device (e.g., a tablet device or a head mountable system) and continue drafting the email in an XR environment created by the XR device.
In other words, if the document is open on your iPhone, simply look at it (and presumably perform some kind of gesture). The headset will identify the document, find it on iCloud, and then open it on the headset.
As for how you’d work on the document, the Reality Pro headset is said to include an “in-air typing” feature that would work in a similar way to existing augmented reality keyboards. Instead of a laser image, though, the virtual keyboard would only be visible to the headset wearer.
Equally intuitive Speaker Handoff
The patent also describes how the Handoff feature, which lets you transfer music from your iPhone to a HomePod, could be achieved via the headset.
In another example, with the subject technology, a user using an XR device (e.g., a user holding a tablet device or wearing a head mountable system) in a physical environment that includes a smart speaker device and the user’s smart phone may look at or gesture toward the smart speaker device. Responsive to a detection of the user looking at or gesturing toward the smart speaker device by the XR device, a song that is playing on the user’s phone can be transferred to play on the smart speaker device. Three-dimensional information regarding the devices in the physical environment can be gathered by the XR device, and used to facilitate smooth and continuous transfer of control and/or content between the devices and/or the XR device.
Again, if your iPhone is playing music, and you want to transfer it to a HomePod:
- Look at the iPhone
- Look at the HomePod
- (Presumably) perform a gesture
And the music is automatically transferred.
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