Patents

Future HomePods could respond to your eye movements

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210048883) for “device control using gaze detection.” 

In the patent filing, Apple notes that digital assistants such as Siri can, as we know, allow users to interact with devices or systems using natural language in spoken and/or text forms. However, the tech giant says that, in some cases, however, a user may be limited to a particular set of commands such that the user cannot readily instruct a digital assistant to perform a task using natural-language speech inputs. What’s more, Apple says that, in many instances digital assistants fail to adapt based on previous user behavior and in turn lack a desirable optimization of user experience. Apple’s idea: equipping devices with cameras sensors that could detect where a user is looking and respond accordingly.

For example, you could “gaze” at a HomePod (or a Mac) that had a built-in camera/sensor to awaken it. You could also control some user interface elements with your eyes, although — and this is just me — I think this would have to be done in conjunction with the rumored “Apple Glasses,” a head-mounted, augmented reality/virtual reality headset.

Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “he present disclosure generally relates to controlling electronic devices. In some examples, the electronic device uses gaze information to activate a digital assistant. In some examples, the electronic device uses gaze information to identify an external device on which to act. In some examples, the electronic device provides an indication that distinguishes between different speakers.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.