Apple granted patent for new Apple Watch biometric ID system

July 13, 2015 - 

In the third Apple Watch-related patent filing published in the past month, Apple has filed a new biometrics related patent in Europe that covers a new gesture and vascular biometrics-based multimodal authentication system for the Apple Watch, according to a report by Patently Apple.

Originally filed internationally in Q4 2013, the patent covers an Apple invention relates to biometric identification system based on Plethysmography — a device for measuring and recording changes in the volume of the body or of a body part or organ.

Using light sensors, the biometric identification system is able to detect changes in the user’s blood flow.

One light sensor emits light at a particular wavelength, while another sensor emits light at an entirely different wavelength. Both light sensors would be close to, or touching, the Apple Watch user’s skin.

As such, the system is able to comprehensively lay out the user’s vasculature based on how the different lights are reflected and absorbed.

Although the Apple Watch currently uses this system, the new patent filing improves on the technology by combining these light readings with motion detection, while storing both biometrics for later authentication.

It remains to be seen whether Apple’s latest biometric ID system is intended to be used in conjunction with Touch ID or for an entirely separate application in the future.

Previously reported, Apple was recently granted a US patent that covers a new technology that enables users to unlock future iPhones by taking a selfie.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.