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As we get closer to the launch of Apple’s AR/VR headset, we’re hearing more about Apple’s plans – and sometimes the source of that information is Apple itself, albeit indirectly. For years, Apple watchers have scoured Apple’s patent filings and read the technology tea leaves to predict future Apple products and features.
The latest find concerns Continuity, the feature that enables seamless handoff transfers between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac — so you can, for example, move calls from device to device, start work on your phone and answer it on your Mac, and so on . The Multi-Device Continuity for use with Extended Reality (XR) Systems patent extends this to the AR/VR headset and does it with some style.
Why these predictions are not obvious nonsense
I’ve been reporting on Apple patents for years, so I’m aware that many of Apple’s filings are purely speculative: They’re often moonshots, or ideas so far in the future that the technology to bring them to fruition is still around years away. But sometimes, like this patent, they focus much more on the near future.
That doesn’t mean that this feature will be included in the first generation AR/VR headset. But it seems to be on Apple’s to-do list at least.
Apple’s examples are quite interesting. In the patent, they describe how you look at an email on your iPhone, swipe your hand or switch gazes and see it floating in front of you. You would then compose your message by wiggling your fingers.
In another example, you’re playing music and looking at or pointing at a nearby HomePod. Boom! The music moves. Apple also describes using the virtual display as an extended display while working on your Mac.
This is all really exciting, but I don’t think we’ll see it in the first-gen Apple AR/VR headset, which is expected to launch this summer. But the features Apple describes in its patent have just the kind of wow factor that make AR seem like something you actually want to use, so maybe we’ll see it in the second, more consumer-oriented generation of headsets, the Apple currently developed .