Apple has Added a completely new Tier of Biometric Specifics to their Touch Bar Patent related to Macs
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple covered Apple's MacBook Touch Bar. While Apple's patent presented various scenarios of how they were going to integrate their new Touch Bar to beyond the MacBook to include a desktop keyboard with or without a trackpad, their Magic Trackpad (as noted in our cover graphic) and a standalone Touch Bar device with Touch ID, today's patent application adds new biometric options coming to future Macs.
Apple's patent FIGS. 2A to 2D below illustrates a Touch Bar being added to a desktop computing system in various implementations.
At the time of the original patent through to their granted patents in 2016, 2017 and 2019, the only biometric listed for Macs was limited to Touch ID in the Touch Bar.
In today's continuation patent Apple has added a completely new tier of 20 patent claims so as to specifically cover biometrics that now includes Face ID and an Iris Scanner coming to Future Macs and possibly to the Mac Pro Display.
Examples of a few Patent Claims Added
Patent Claim #1: A method, comprising: at an electronic device with a display and a biometric sensor; while the device is in a locked state, displaying a respective log-in user interface that is associated with logging in to a plurality of user accounts including a first user account and a second user account; while displaying the log-in user interface, receiving biometric information about a user; in response to receiving the biometric information: in accordance with a determination that the biometric information is consistent with biometric information for the first user account of the plurality of user accounts while the first user account does not have an active session on the device, displaying, on the display, a prompt to input a log-in credential for the first user account; and in accordance with a determination that the biometric information is consistent with biometric information for the second user account of the plurality of user accounts while the second user account does not have an active session on the device, displaying, on the display, a prompt to input a log-in credential for the second user account.
Patent Claim #10: The method of claim 1, wherein the biometric sensor is a fingerprint sensor.
Patent Claim #11: The method of claim 1, wherein the biometric sensor is a facial detection sensor.
Patent Claim #12: The method of claim 1, wherein the biometric sensor is a retina scanner.
To review the other 16 patent claims regarding biometrics, review Apple's continuation patent 20200257403 that was filed in Q2 2020.
This is also the first time that I've seen a patent change its official title. Then again, this continuation patent is not straight forward in that this one continuation patent is a combination of at least 13 patents dating back to 2014.
Patently Apple first discovered this patent in Europe in 2017, a patent filed in 2015. You could review that report here with more graphics and coverage beyond biometrics. Note that there are some broken graphics in that report, so just click on the links to bring you to the actual graphic.
Considering that this is a continuation patent application, the timing of new biometrics being added to future Macs is unknown at this time.