Feeds

Apple moves to patent fingerprint-controlled gadgets

Biometric playlists?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Apple has plans to implement biometric controls into its gadgets, if techniques outlined in its latest patent application are taken to their logical conclusion.

The firm’s filing ith the US Patent and Trademark Office, entitled "Control of electronic device by using a person's fingerprints", describes how users could control gadgets using fingerprints.

Apple_fingerprint_gadgets_app_001

Apple's patent app reveals an iPod-like gadget controlled by fingerprints

One of the application’s drawings, shown above, shows an iPod-like device with embedded “fingerprint sensor”. An accompanying chart describes how placing your index finger onto the reader would cause the gadget to play some content.

Alternatively, put your middle finger onto the reader and you’ll be able to fast-forward through content. Leaving your index finger on the reader for a specific number of seconds would cause the gadget to jump back to its home screen, the application said.

While remembering which of your digits performs which function and how long you need to press your pinkie onto the biometric reader sounds tiresome, Apple has some specific uses in mind.

The technology’s extended description hints that fingerprint controls would be well suited to use by the visually-impaired or as a tool for rifling through your iPod when you can’t easily look at the screen.

Replacing buttons or dials with fingerprint sensors could also help reduce a gadget’s size, Apple reckons.

However, the company has considered pairing fingerprint control up with other, more traditional forms of gadget control such as verbal input, button input or a multi-touch interface “similar to that incorporated into an iPhone”, the document states.

Fingerprints may even, according to the application, be used “for authentication purposes”.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Apple has tried to patent some form of biometric control. Back in March, for example, Register Hardware reported on an Apple patent application for a MacBook with biometric-enabled keyboard able to recognise the user once they start typing. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.