You could soon be able to control your lights with an Apple Watch like a Jedi

Apple Watch HomeKit Lights
(Image credit: iMore)

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"

Apple Watch patent gesture

(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.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's  Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.


Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider (opens in new tab)', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.