On April 17, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two new biometric related patent applications from Apple. While one invention delves into various methods that Apple's Touch ID may be using today or could be using in the future, the other introduces us to a new and unique anti-spoofing measure that they aptly call the "Doodle" mode that could be used with the iPhone and/or future Macs.
On Mar 06, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Wireless Pairing and Communication between Devices Using Biometric Data." The patent reveals that information exchanged between devices such as an iPhone and Mac may one day use biometrics to perform a connection between the devices. While it adds another layer of security it also simplifies the process by not requiring any passwords. Apple states that other forms of biometric security may be used in the future, such as retinal scanning, facial recognition and more.
On January 16, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new sensor system that covers a fingerprint module and beyond. Apple's invention hints that the new sensor system could be applied to a great number of devices including an iMac, TV, MacBook and/or peripheral. Specifically the invention notes the possibility of using a touch screen to replace a MacBook touchpad and/or adding a touchscreen to a future keyboard.
To kick off the New Year, we get to see an overview of Apple's biometrics road-map. While Apple launched the iPhone 5S in September 2013 with the surprising Touch ID feature, Apple is already working on possible new ways of advancing biometrics in future devices including the iPad, Macs and even a possible application for the iPod. A lot of what Apple reveals here today relates directly to several new security measures for both consumer and enterprise markets. Report Updated 11:30 AM MST
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 23 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover five design patents that were granted to Apple today in addtion to focusing on one key invention relating to an embedded heart rate monitor. The invention states that beyond it being embedded into a future iPhone, the heart rate monitor could be embedded into an accessory. Earlier this year Apple's CEO and other team members were spotted wearing Nike's Fuel band. This led to speculation that Apple's newly published wristband computer invention (that is popularly thought of as a future wearable computer or iWatch) would be an ideal device for embedding a health monitoring system. That makes this granted patent a possible key component of any such future device.
On November 28, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that reveal more details about the new Touch ID fingerprint scanner that's been incorporated into the Home Button of the iPhone 5S. The patent applications delve into extending the range of electric field based finger sensors so that they could image fingers through significantly thicker dielectric materials such as molded plastic structures. The patents also detail many other technical aspects behind Apple's Touch ID.
When Apple introduced the new iPhone 5S with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner feature, Dan Riccio, Senior VP Hardware Engineering stated at the 2:19 mark of Apple's introductory video that "All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored inside a secure enclave in our new A7 chip. Here it's locked away from everything else, accessible only by the Touch ID sensor. It's never available to other software, and it's never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud." One of Apple's latest patent applications published by the US Patent and Trademark Office reveals the mechanics and thinking behind this "secure enclave" and more.
Patently Apple was first to reveal Apple's Touch ID patents in Europe just days before Apple unveiled this new feature in the iPhone 5S in September. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published another Touch ID related patent application from Apple that covers the circuits and packaging for fingerprint sensors.
On October 17, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals more details behind Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Apple reveals that they added a method to the sensor that would allow it to scan a fingerprint at a much higher resolution than other sensors on the market without electrically shocking the finger. Apple also notes that their Touch ID technology could eventually apply to an iPad, MacBook and beyond. Technically speaking, Apple's patent relates to circuits that may be used to support fingerprint sensing, including boost circuits, such as inductive boost circuits.
Leading up to Apple's iPhone event yesterday was exciting. Patently Apple first discovered and posted a report last Saturday detailing a phenomenal new Apple patent filing which detailed a secret fingerprint scanner project. One that would hide a fingerprint scanner right under Apple's famed Home button. When Apple revealed Touch ID at their iPhone Event yesterday, it was such a buzz. It may only be a security feature and one that will work seamless with future e-commerce applications, but the genius of how they implemented this is what makes it such a cool breakthrough. Powered by Apple's new A7 chip with a 64-bit architecture, this incredibly advanced feature came to life. It's so advanced and yet so simple. It's so advanced and yet invisibly seamless. It's this kind of legendary thinking that makes Apple the true innovator that they are.
It's official. Apple's iPhone 5S sports a fingerprint scanner that Apple is calling Touch ID. Being that this new feature was so important, we wanted to wait until Apple officially unveiled it and explained it before releasing our new report. Take a look back at Apple's biometric patent applications as they unfolded starting back in 2009 and then quickly ramping up eleven months ago until their latest patent which was only revealed a few days ago. What an exciting journey it's been – and it's only begun!
Earlier today Patently Apple posted a report covering a new fingerprint scanner that could be incorporated into the Home button of future iDevices. This patent application was discovered in Europe yesterday by Patently Apple. A number of lawyers have shown interest in seeing Apple's patent claims and so we've put together this secondary report spelling out Apple's 27 patent claims. Additionally, we've enclosed several new patent figure graphics that were difficult to include in our earlier report. While we're optimistic about this new feature coming to market shortly, you never know what Apple will debut or leave on the table for another day. That's why Apple's iPhone event this week is going to be an exciting one to watch.
When Apple revealed the iPhone 5 last year, many were confused as to why Apple didn't include NFC technology. Apple's VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller stated at the time that it wasn't clear that NFC was the solution to any current problem. That was a nice misdirection Phil, really. Because as Phil was saying that, Apple had already filed for a wild fingerprint sensor/NFC patent that he was fully aware of. Patently Apple discovered this new patent application in Europe yesterday. The patent filing details an incredible fingerprint scanner with advanced integrated NFC circuitry that will deliver features that no one saw coming! When Phil Schiller gave the Mac faithful a peek at the coming Mac Pro tower this fall, he blurted out: Apple "can't innovate anymore – My Ass!" Well, it appears that Apple may show the world a little more innovation Apple-style next week when they unveil the iPhone 5S. It may even include a newly designed Home Button with an integrated fingerprint scanner and much more. Report Updated 2:30 PM PST. Report Updated September 09, 2013, 6 PM MST
In July Patently Apple posted a report revealing one of the patent applications that Apple gained in their acquisition of AuthenTec. Today, Patently Apple reveals a second patent application that Apple gained in their acquisition that was filed in Europe. There were a few interesting findings in this patent. One of them reveals that Apple's future fingerprint scanner has a security feature built-in that will be able to sense "live tissue" so as to reduce spoofing.
Apple has been working on biometric sensors for fingerprint scanners for iDevices and the MacBook since at least 2009. In 2010 we reported that Apple was working on a fingerprint scanner that could work under a device's display and in late 2012 Apple revealed their fingerprint scanner for use as an e-commerce and general security feature for the iPhone. Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed Apple's latest alternative fingerprint scanner design that could be integrated directly into the bezel of a given device. In operation, a user will simply swipe a finger over a surface of the sensor. The sensor will capture a number of thin strips of the fingerprint as the finger is swiped, and the complete fingerprint is assembled in software for use in authentication. Such a sensor apparatus is typically preferred when a compact sensor is desired.