Apple patents voice biometrics-based device access system

Apple has patented a system for electronic “(d)evice access using voice authentication,” which would allow users to unlock a device or use a feature such as Siri with voice biometrics. The patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes the use of a text-independent voiceprint to authenticate the proper user and grant access to a restricted feature in a single step.

Voice data can be collected to train the system during normal voice interactions, to generate a voiceprint and authenticate it either locally or on a network server. The system could also be used to access Siri or another feature without fully unlocking the device.

“A device can include a more user-friendly authentication process for accessing a locked device,” according to the patent summary. “A user’s voice can be authenticated at the same time that a voice command is processed; no separate authentication step is required. The device can generate a voiceprint while the user speaks voice commands into the device; no separate speaker recognition training step is required. The voice authentication features disclosed below can provide fast and secure voice control access to any/all features of the device.”

Apple was reported in August to be considering voice recognition as a means of distinguishing between multiple users of a device, according to Apple Insider.

Among Apple’s many patents filed, published, or granted this year, the company recently had an optical 3D fingerprint system filing published by the USPTO.

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