Friday, October 12, 2012

Apple patents Biometric sensor,fingerprint technology for its iDevices

Apple was granted a patent for a two-step unlock screen feature that has yet to be implemented.Now with help of using fingerprint, face and eye recogniton one can unlock its device,But this feature is even more than that just to lock or unlock the screen,the feature could also be used in e-commerce transactions from iOS device.For this Apple acquired mobile security firm Authentec for $356 Million,so that the transactions are processed safely and securely .

Apple's latest inventions includes techniques for concealing components of  an electronic device may include a component that is disposed behind a window configured to selectively become transparent or opaque, such as a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PLDC) window.Since such a window may be hidden behind a transparent display or color-matched to seamlessly integrate into an enclosure of the electronic device, the components may remain hidden from view while not in use. When desired, the electronic device may expose the concealed components by causing the electronic window to change opacity, allowing the components to suddenly appear as from out of nowhere.

But it seems that the invention is skewed towards device aesthetic appearance as said in the patent file
Current techniques for incorporating components into an electronic device may be limited by the relative sizes of the components and the electronic device. The larger the components and the smaller the electronic device, the less spatial area there may be to incorporate additional components. For example, a small electronic device where a large display covers most of the face of the electronic device may not allow for any additional components, such as a fingerprint reader, to be added to the electronic device. Furthermore, under the current techniques, adding new components may harm the aesthetic appeal of the device by cluttering the electronic device enclosure, even though these additional components may be seldom or never used by many users. An electronic device that incorporates multiple components may lose its aesthetic appeal when covered by visible components, particularly as compared to a seamless electronic device where very few, if any, components of the electronic device are visible.
While Apple's patent FIG. 2 shown below represents an iPhone, Apple states that their new biometric sensor/reader could also be implemented into other idevices
And the Compatible devices are:
iPod touch
iPod nano
iPad Tablet

The proposed iPhone features may include windows 24A and 24B configured to conceal components such as a camera and biometric sensor 34. By concealing the biometric sensor behind the iPhone's glass surface the biometric sensor may remain unseen when not in use.

The Fingerprint Reader
In Apple's patent FIGS. 12 and 13 shown below we see a biometric sensor in context with a fingerprint reader which is initially concealed behind a closed window on an iPhone. Upon the iPhone's activation in a locked state, a lock screen 160 may be displayed requesting a user to slide a finger across the display to unlock the device. The electronic device may request user authentication to access the handheld device. The device may then display an instruction screen requesting that a user provide biometric data via their fingerprint which will be read by the fingerprint reader.

The biometric sensor may be exposed by the opening noted below in patent point 166. Upon the verification of the user's identity, their home screen will be revealed.

Face or Eye Recognition for e-Commerce Security

An alternative embodiment Apple's patent FIG. 14 shown below illustrates the iPhone's camera that could be used in the future to obtain face and/or eye recognition as a form of user ID or authentication.

Apple states that user authentication is not limited to unlocking an iDevice. Apple's patent FIG. 15 illustrates the process in an e-commerce context. To complete a shopping transaction online, many e-commerce websites may require identity verification before the order can be completed. When such a transaction occurs using an iPhone, for example, the iPhone's camera will provide an authentication screen 180 explaining that user authentication is required to complete the transaction.

Upon acknowledgement of the authentication screen, the iPhone may open a window to expose a biometric sensor in the form of an illustrated camera lens as shown in the patent figure. Once the user is properly identified, the purchase could be completed

Apple filed the patent application in April 2011, with Felix Jose Alvarez Rivera, Richard Hung Minh Dinh and Scott A Myers credited as its inventors.

Full Patent Details  Via-Patentlyapple

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