Apple has been exploring a system that would allow users to gain access to multiple IoT devices from a central hub. The details of the system are included in a patent application that was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent depicts a head-mounted device that could be paired with other IoT devices, such as an iPhone, an Apple TV, or an Apple Watch. Once paired, the central device would essentially act as a proximity-based security token that could unlock other devices in the vicinity.
The central device could contain biometric sensors to verify the identity of the wearer and provide an additional layer of security. The other paired devices would remain in a locked state unless the user is explicitly trying to gain access to those devices. To that end, the device could use gesture recognition to discern that the user is trying to interact with a particular device, and then confirm the user’s intention with a nod or some other body movement.
The patent also identifies voice recognition and eye tracking as potential authentication factors.
The Apple application was filed in the second quarter of 2019, and as with any patent, there is no guarantee that the system will ever make its way into a commercial product. Even so, it does speak to a broader interest in interoperability, and the need for better security as IoT devices become increasingly intertwined.
Apple, of course, has been at the forefront of that movement, and has disclosed a string of patents and patent applications in the past few months. In December, the tech giant received a patent for a gaze tracking system that could be integrated into Face ID. It has also received a patent that could bring Face ID to the Apple Watch, and applied for a patent that would enable partial face recognition.
Source: Patently Apple