NEWS

Apple Files Biometrics Patent for iPhone and Mac Computers

By Matthew Harwood

According to a patent filed last week, Apple wants to include biometric protections on devices ranging from the iPhone to Macbooks to prevent unauthorized use or access to the personal data inside, reports the Web site AppleInsider.com.

The solution, the company suggests, would be to automatically use a sensor either hidden within the device or else repurposed from its usual role. Devices could recognize a fingerprint or finger vein pattern simply by waiting for the user to touch the display, which would hide the sensors on or behind the screen. A forward-facing camera could alternately look for retinal patterns or even recognize the facial features of owners when they're in the right position for use ....

Apple goes so far as to suggest the possibility of recognizing the user's distinctive voice or even collecting DNA samples to recognize a user's genetic sequence. Biometrics could also be context-sensitive and detect the shape of a user's ear before allowing a call to go through, for example.

If Apple goes through with the idea, AppleInsider.com reports, it wants to seemlessly integrate the biometric sensors so that users will not even have to stop what they're doing to verify their identity.

Mac or iPhone users will also be able to choose a level of security they're comfortable with, according to MacNN.com:

Apple’s security features will be able to protect the entire users system or just a few special apps or specific data that the user identifies as being important. Apple has also inventively devised a time-based security feature that would shut down the use of a particular app after a specific time that’s assigned to it.

For a sophisticated look at Apple's biometric patent with graphics, check out MacNN.com's coverage here.

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