Future iPhones Could Use Your Gaze to Mark Notifications as Read

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 8 Apr 2021

iOS 12 Grouped Notifications 1

Apple could work on a feature that will mark your notifications as read by tracking your eye movement. As creepy as it may sound, the new interaction method could trigger certain functions when users are present.

Apple’s latest patent application details a setup that detects users’ presence in the vicinity. It could use one or multiple methods like detecting a user’s gaze. Furthermore, the gaze can also activate other UX capabilities like controlling Apple TV, Mac, HomePod, and iPhone.

The new system opens up a whole new world of possibilities. For instance, iPhone could trigger a feature based on person’s Face ID. The system can be used to implement multiple functions across different apps. Needless to say, Apple’s Face ID has a crucial role to play in this system.

Interaction with such devices can be performed using various input devices, such as touch screen displays, touch-sensitive surfaces, remote controls, mice, and other input devices. However, there are instances where user interaction with the computing devices would be enhanced if the user were not required to physically provide input to the computing devices, but rather if the computing devices were to take certain actions autonomously based on user detection.

The user detection feature can be used for media control. It could automatically pause audio/video when the user is not looking at the screen. One embodiment reveals how the system can trigger a particular function depending on users’ proximity to the device. Interestingly, the user detection feature can detect which portions of text user has read based on their gaze.

Coming back to the notifications, the system could automatically mark notifications as read if a user is in front of the iPhone display. Over a period of time, the system will learn users’ preferences and offer customized recommendations.

Our Take

Apple is known for perfecting a feature before launching it on iPhones. In all likelihood, third-party apps could make use of user detection and offer new features exclusive to iPhone. It would be exciting to see user detection system in future Apple devices.

[via AppleInsider]