At last month’s WWDC, Apple announced that iOS 16 will allow third-party accessories with U1 chip integration to interact with iPhone apps even when the app is running in the background, enabling new “hands-free” user experiences .


In a press release today, chipmaker Qorvo said this new functionality will allow U1-enabled accessories to work alongside iOS 16 apps to trigger real-time actions based on your precise location, such as: B. turning on lights or playing music when you enter a room, even if you are not actively using the apps.

Qorvo also announced that its Ultra Wideband chips are now certified by Apple’s MFi program, which should pave the way for third-party MFi-certified U1-enabled accessories. Accessory makers can use Qorvo’s chips to make accessories compatible with U1-equipped iPhone and Apple Watch models.

Apple’s own accessories also offer precise, direction-aware experiences. For example, users can hold a U1-equipped iPhone near a HomePod mini to “hand off” music playback complete with visual, auditory, and tactile effects. U1-enabled iPhones can also take advantage of the Precision Finding feature, which makes finding an AirTag easier.

The Apple U1 chip in iPhone 11 models and newer, Apple Watch Series 6 models and newer, HomePod mini and AirTag uses Ultra Wideband technology for ultra-precise spatial awareness at short distances.

See the Nearby Interactions with U1 page on Apple’s developer site for more details.

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