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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has patented an interesting new bit of technology that suggests it has some innovative plans for how people will be able to control its long-rumoured augmented reality (AR) headset.

The patent shows how users wearing wearable devices on their wrists (ones that look a lot like Apple Watch models, unsurprisingly) could use contact points around their hands to control the user interface.

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This might mean making gestures, touching points on your palm or any number of other movements, and could unlock a lot of functionality without the need for a separate controller to the headset.

The wearables would need to each have at least one electrode in contact with the user's skin to detect any skin contact, making the current Apple Watch options on the market possibly fit the bill.

Being able to control things in virtual or augmented reality isn't exactly new, though - you've been able to do just that on even more affordable headsets like Meta's Quest options for quite some time now, using the headset's cameras to recognise your hands and fingers.

This can allow for quite precise control when everything is working, but it's classic Apple to explore every avenue in order to make for the best possible user experience before it launches anything.

The patent filing was spotted by Patently Apple, and we would say it's entirely likely that there will be more such filings to be discovered in the months to come. Apple, after all, has made no official sign that it's going to unveil the headset itself in the immediate future.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.