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Apple patent filing describes Face ID and other biometrics on MacBooks


The European Patent Office has published a patent application from Apple to extend its claims for the Touch Bar feature to include biometric identification technology, and indicates the possibility of Face ID being implemented in MacBooks, Patently Apple reports.

The Touch Bar is an OLED interface bar that replaces the function keys on some MacBook Pro models. The original European patent for the Touch Bar was filed in 2016, and contains 12 claims, while the new filing would extend the patent to 106 claims, and suggests the Touch Bar could be implemented to Apple’s Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, or another device.

The new claims include the possibility of using the Touch Bar for Touch ID fingerprint biometrics, but also suggest MacBooks with a Touch Bar could use “a facial detection sensor” or “retina scanner,” according to claims number 86 and 87, respectively. This seems to suggest that Face ID and other biometrics may soon be coming to MacBooks.

The newly published patent was filed in Q3 2017, and the development of patented technologies into commercial products is always uncertain. 9to5Mac points out that the first patent Apple filed for Face ID in 2017 referred not to iPhones, but to Macs.

Another recently published patent filing from Apple describes the use of biometric vein authentication to secure the Apple Watch.

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