As Rumors persist that iPhones will launch this year with Face and Touch ID, Apple updates their dual Biometrics Patent
Before there was ever a rumor of Apple introducing an iPhone with both Touch and Face ID there was a patent describing such a possibility. Patently Apple discovered and reported on the original patent that was discovered in Europe back in December 2018.
Apple's European patent application states that biometric authentication, for instance of a face, iris, or fingerprint, using electronic devices is a convenient and efficient method of authenticating users of the electronic devices. Biometric authentication allows a device to quickly and easily verify the identity of any number of users.
"In response to detecting the predefined operation and in accordance with a determination that biometric authentication (e.g., Touch ID, Face ID) via the one or more biometric sensors is available, the electronic device on the display ... will cause credentials to be submitted via the credential submission user the interface element."
More importantly, Apple's patent FIGS. 17M, 17O and 17P shown below illustrate the option to use Touch ID if Face ID fails and a password if both biometrics fail. This idea was either dropped by Apple or could be something being seriously considered in the future to match the dual biometric options offered today by competitors like Huawei's Porsche model that we illustrate further below.
Apple's original patent that was filed in January 2018 and made public in December 2018 contained an insane amount of 406 claims. In Apple's U.S. granted patent published in December 2020 they revealed 29 new patent claims.
On Thursday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a new continuation patent from Apple wherein they're combining their original provisional patent along with several continuation patents into a single patent filing while adding 33 new patent claims to further protect their invention that may be coming to market in 2021-2022 iPhones.
To review Apple's new claims, check out Apple's continuation patent 20210042549. Considering that this is a continuation patent, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time – though there have been a series of rumors that have claimed that this could be the year it finally comes to market. One of the latest such rumors surfaced on January 31, 2020.