A recently granted patent application suggests Apple could use its upcoming Glass headset to unlock other devices, including a companion iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The patent was filed initially in 2018 and granted this week.
The patent, titled “Authenticated Device Assisted User Authentication,” describes a method of authentication when devices are in close proximity.
The patent specifically references an “authenticated device that is worn by a user as a head-mounted device.” This head-mounted device, presumably the Apple Glass, can then communicate with a nearby device and pass along this authentication.
Once a trusted relationship is established, the nearby device can then move from a locked to an unlocked state.
“Many electronic devices restrict access to various features based on authentication of the identity of the user. When multiple devices are used concurrently, procedures for unlocking each device individually can delay user access and reduce the quality of the user experience.”Apple patent application
Multi-device unlocking is nothing new to Apple. Apple added a similar feature to the Apple Watch. Apple Watch users who have a Mac can enable a feature that allows them to unlock their Mac automatically when they are wearing their Apple Watch.
Extrapolating from the patent, it’s easy to see how this unlocking would work in real-life with the Apple Glass. Just like the Watch, a person wearing an Apple Glass could unlock their iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other devices. This feature would be added for its convenience and to enhance the user experience in the Apple ecosystem.