If a granted patent for Apple is any indication, you could be flicking your wrist and pointing at different HomeKit-enabled devices to switch them on or off via your Apple Watch someday.
According to Patently Apple (opens in new tab), the application numbered #US 20230076716 A1 could allow anyone with an Apple Watch to be in close proximity to a lamp for example, and the controls for it would appear on the watch face, which would let you control it through gestures.
Some other examples could be turning your wrist so you can turn down the brightness on a lamp, or waving your hand to turn on a fan.
While we don’t expect this to arrive in watchOS 10, rumored to be announced later this year, it’s an exciting thought that could make our childhood dreams of becoming a Jedi from Star Wars, almost come true.
“Use the force watchOS”
(Image credit: Patently Apple)
However, if you’re using an Apple Watch that’s on watchOS 9, Apple already has a feature that allows you to control the watch using your hand.
AssistiveTouch has been on the iPhone since iOS 3.1 in 2009, which allows you to access a bunch of options in a small menu, anywhere you are. However, it arrived to watchOS 9 in 2022, and with it, some incredibly useful hand gestures (opens in new tab).
On your watch, go to Settings > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Motion Pointer, and you’ll be able to practice certain gestures, such as tapping your fingers to select an option, or clenching your fist to go back a step.
It can be tricky to master at first, but eventually, you find yourself tapping to start a workout with ease, especially if you’re wearing gloves and you don’t want to take them off to control your Watch.
It’s features like this that are already setting the stage for patents like the above, and it’s great that accessibility is reaping the benefits of it before we see a use case for home lights.
While being a Jedi with our Apple Watches is a dream for many, and it looks to be true if this patent is transformed into a future feature, to see more hand gestures arrive in the next major watchOS update first, would be more than welcome.