Apple may be considering making its own brand of locks (iLock, anyone?)

FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate exemplary user interfaces for configuring and/or using a lock accessory.

A newly granted Apple patent hints that the tech giant has at least considered making its own brand of locks that would work with its Home app. The patent (number US 11837038 B2) is dubbed “User Interfaces for Locks.”

About the patent

The patent relates generally to computer user interfaces, and more specifically to techniques for managing lock accessories. In the patent Apple notes that electronic devices are able to wirelessly communicate with a lock accessory to cause the lock accessory to transition between a locked state and an unlocked state while displaying a user interface corresponding to the lock accessory. 

Such devices — including the iPhone and Apple Watch — can also communicate with a lock accessory to set a personal identification number (PIN) that can be used to cause the lock accessory to transition between the locked state and the unlocked state via inputs on a keypad of the lock accessory.

However, Apple says that some techniques for managing lock accessories using electronic devices, however, are generally cumbersome and inefficient. For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. 

Apple says that existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy. The tech giant apparently thinks it can do better.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device displays a user interface corresponding to a respective user of a home automation system that includes statuses indicating whether the respective user has access to a plurality of lock accessory devices of the home automation system.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher 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.