On December 18, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new unlock option being devised. The new method would involve Touch ID and the addition of a combination lock code using finger motion. While using Touch ID, the user would additionally move or shift their finger in various directions to hit a particular code sequence to unlock their devices. Apple illustrates two methods for this new virtual combination unlock feature in their patent filing.
Invention: Combining Touch ID with Motion Input
Fingerprint sensing and matching is a reliable and widely used technique for personal identification or verification. In particular, a common approach to fingerprint identification involves scanning a sample fingerprint or an image thereof and storing the image and/or unique characteristics of the fingerprint image. The characteristics of a sample fingerprint may be compared to information for reference fingerprints already in a database to determine proper identification of a person, such as for verification purposes.
Apple's latest fingerprint ID invention presents a combination method of unlocking a device using Touch ID and a numeric code at the same time on the same unlock screen.
Apple notes that the electronic device may also include a processor coupled to the finger biometric sensor and the display and being switchable between a user-interface locked mode and a user-interface unlocked mode. The processor may be capable of determining a pattern of input motions on the finger biometric sensor and displaying an image on the display corresponding to the pattern of input motions.
The processor may also be capable of switching between the user-interface locked mode and the user-interface unlocked mode when the pattern of input motions matches a stored pattern representing a user unlock code.
Accordingly, the electronic device advantageously switches to a user-interface unlocked mode based upon a match of the input motions to the finger biometric sensor with a stored pattern representing a user unlock code. Thus, the electronic device may more quickly switch to the user-interface unlocked mode and while using the finger biometric sensor, for example which may also acquire finger biometric data based upon the input motions.
The processor may be capable of determining spoof detection data based upon the pattern of input motions, for example. The spoof detection data may include distortion data, for example.
The processor may be capable of displaying the image on the display as a virtual combination lock responsive to the pattern of input motions. The stored pattern representing the user unlock code may include a series of rotational movements, for example. The stored pattern representing the user unlock code may include a series of linear movements, for example. The processor may be capable of acquiring finger biometric match data and comparing the finger biometric match data with stored finger biometric enrollment data.
The electronic device may further include a user input device coupled to the processor. The processor, when in the user-interface unlocked mode, may be capable of performing a corresponding device function responsive to the user input device, for example. The user input device may include a finger-operated input device carrying the finger biometric sensor, for example. The electronic device may also include a wireless transceiver coupled to the processor.
Apple's patent FIGS. 9a-9c noted below represent an overview of the electronic device displaying a virtual combination lock.
Apple's patent FIGS. 11a/b/c represent plan views displaying an image corresponding to a series of linear movements.
Apple credits Dale Setlak as the sole inventor of patent application 20140369572 which was originally filed in Q2 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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