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Apple Watch: new patent may reveal how iPhone pairing works

by Jacob Kleinman | May 5, 2015May 5, 2015 4:00 pm PDT

Apple loves to inject a little magic into everything it does, and that includes the Apple Watch. Even pairing the wearable device with your iPhone is fun. Now a new patent from the Cupertino company may explain the technology behind that bit of magic.

A pair of patents describing the same “invisible optical label for transmitting information between computing devices” were granted to Apple on Tuesday. They detail how the company could transfer data between your primary device and a second gadget using a coded label that would be imperceptible to the user.

That sounds a lot like the Apple Watch pairing system, which displays a sort of “particle cloud” on the smartwatch screen. Turns out it’s really just a fancy QR code with enough flair to distract you from the technology working behind the scenes. The specifics get pretty complicated, with Apple using different colors and patterns to essentially trick your brain.

We can’t say for sure if this is the same technology used by the Apple Watch, but it’s possible. Cupertino filed these patents back in July 2014, leaving plenty of time to include them in the new smartwatch. If it is what’s actually present on the Apple Watch, we suspect we’ll see it used in additional products in the future.

USPTO (1) (2) Apple Insider

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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