A newly revealed patent application from Apple suggests the company is exploring technology that would allow a device to track a user’s gaze, head position, hand gestures, face biometrics, and more.
Newly published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the patent was filed in Q4 of last year. It specifically concerns applications of its technology in a Mac computer screen or a TV display, but as Patently Apple reports, the patent also notes that its technology could be applied to mobile devices such as an iPhone or Apple Watch.
The patent describes how information captured from the user could influence a device’s display, focusing on the example of hiding the small mirror display that appears during FaceTime chats and the like: A dedicated region in the display would show the user’s face when they look at it, but when the user looks at the main area of the screen for a prolonged amount of time, the mirror display would disappear, making more room for the image of the person on the other end of the video chat.
It’s a neat feature, but the patent also explains that the system could be used to gather additional information such as voice commands and even health biometrics like heart and respiration rates. What exactly Apple has in mind with this technology in terms of a future device isn’t clear – indeed, like many other Apple patents, this one may describe technology that won’t ever appear in an actual product – but it looks like Apple is at the very least interested in technology that lets display devices look back at their users.
Source: Patently Apple