Apple Invents a Future Version of the Apple TV Remote that will use Touch ID to Restrict Access to Certain Content
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 64 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's patent that reveals a future version of the Apple TV remote that will use biometrics such as Touch ID to restrict access to certain content. With the release of Apple TV+ next month, it would seem that such an invention would be useful. Though as with all patents, we never know when or if Apple will adopt patent pending or patented inventions.
In Apple's patent FIG. 1 further below you'll see an isometric view of a system #100 for operation of limited access features of an electronic device #120 using remotely collected biometric data.
The system may include an electronic device and a remote control device #110. The remote control device may be in communication with the electronic device and may be operable to transmit one or more instructions to the electronic device. For example, the remote control may include a wireless communication component that is compatible with a wireless communication component included within the electronic device. For example, the wireless communication component may use infrared, visible light, sound, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, near-field communication, power line transmission, radio, or any other suitable wireless communication protocol or method.
The electronic device is illustrated as a television as an example only. In various implementations the electronic device may be any electronic device that is capable of receiving instructions from a remote control device.
The remote control device may include at least one sensor #140 that is configured to detect at least one biometric characteristic from a candidate user #130.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is an isometric view of a system for operation of limited access features of an electronic device using remotely collected biometric data; FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method of using biometric characteristics to operate limited access features of an electronic device.
As illustrated, the sensor may be a fingerprint sensor (such as a capacitive sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, and/or other touch sensor) that is operable to detect at least one fingerprint. However, a fingerprint sensor is merely shown as an example.
The remote control device may include at least one sensor that is configured to detect at least one biometric characteristic from a candidate user. As illustrated, the sensor may be a fingerprint sensor (such as a capacitive sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, and/or other touch sensor) that is operable to detect at least one fingerprint.
In other implementations, the sensor may be any kind of sensor (such as one or more cameras, inertial sensors, photoplethysmographic sensors, and so on) that is operable to detect at least one unique biometric characteristic of the candidate user. Such biometric characteristics may include, but are not limited to, retinal or facial images, palm prints, gesture patterns, signatures, and/or any other kind of unique biometric characteristics of the candidate user. In still further embodiments, the remote control device may include more than one element sensor element. For example, the remote control device may include a number of buttons or sensors, each capable to cause an instruction to be sent to the electronic device. Such instructions may include state information and/or authentication information.
The reasoning behind using biometrics is to restrict access to content by children in the home. Apple notes that a child may be a user of the remote with only limited access.
If a child grasps the remote and aligns a finger with a fingerprint sensor of the remote, the child may not be permitted to access certain limited-access features of the television (or other electronic device) by operating the remote.
If the child attempted to access the limited access features of the television, the television may prompt the child to enter the proper access code.
As with most patents, Apple doesn't want to limit the devices that will work with biometrics and states that their system could apply to a wide range of future products such as: "one or more televisions, set top boxes, media centers, desktop computing devices, media controllers, media players, laptop computing devices, wearable devices, tablet computing devices, mobile computing devices, cellular telephones, smart phones, kitchen appliances, automobiles, voice over internet protocol telephones, displays, microphones, speakers, video game console, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning) systems, lighting systems, and/or any other electronic device(s).
The same goes for the types of biometrics used. Beyond Touch ID, Apple states that the sensor may include any number of biometric sensors capable to detect biometrical characteristics from the candidate user. For example, in certain embodiments, the sensor may be a retina or iris sensor, an electrocardiography sensor, a vein imaging sensor, voice sensor, or any other sensor capable to objectively measure a unique biometric characteristic of the candidate user.
Apple's granted patent was originally filed in Q2 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Caballero; Ruben: Vice President of Engineering; Worked on the strategy, roadmap and design of products at Apple including the first designs of the iPhone and iPad and expanded to include all Apple HW products including Apple TV/Siri Remote and Airport Products
Mike Divincent: Senior Director of Wireless Design
Nicole Hollopeter: Human Factors Engineer
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