Apple patent covers biometrics-based remote for TV and other devices
The US Patent & Trademark Office has published a patent application from Apple covering biometric authentication technology for the Apple TV remote to replace the tedious process of entering passwords and be able to verify the identity of the person attempting to use the services on Apple TV, according to a report by Patently Apple.
Filed back in Q2 2017, the patent application comes as Apple prepares to debut a TV streaming service which will pit the company against current market leaders, Netflix and Amazon’s Prime.
The biometrics-enabled remote may also work with many home devices in the future and may be closely linked to HomeKit.
This would enable the remote to access and control other household devices — such as security system, appliances, lights and more — while watching TV.
The patent details the remote control device as having a single button in its center that features an embedded fingerprint sensor (but could also be iris or facial recognition-based) which is used to control a connected television set.
The sensor would allow the system to identify the user as well as customize functionality based on the user’s requirements.
For example, parents could restrict which TV channels can be viewed or the time frame in which they can be viewed, when an authorized child is using the remote.
In the patent, Apple points out that it uses a television as an example only, and that the biometric remote could be used with a range of devices including a home security system or thermostat.
In addition, the remote itself is also an example, and could be another tool such as a stylus, wearable or tablet, so long as it features an embedded fingerprint sensor and is designed to operate a paired device.
In July, Apple released firmware for its HomePod smart speaker contains several iPhone 8 design references, including the existence of infrared face detection in the BiometricKit framework.