Apple granted patent for biometric TV remote to restrict access to content

Right before the release of the Apple TV+, the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple with 64 new patents, including one for an innovative Apple TV remote with biometric features such as Touch ID to prevent kids from accessing certain content at home, writes PatentlyApple. The patent was filed in Q2 2017, yet there is no information whether the feature will soon be adopted or not.

It is possible for the system to comprise an electronic device and a remote control that could contain a wireless communication component compatible with a similar mechanism in the electronic device. The component can use a number of wireless protocols such as infrared, visible light, sound, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, near-field communication, power line transmission or radio. Through this communication method, the remote control sends instructions to the electronic device.

It also integrates at least one biometric sensor that detects user characteristics. As an example, Apple illustrates how the system would work with fingerprint sensors such as a capacitive sensor or an ultrasonic sensor. Other deployments include sensors acting as cameras, inertial sensors, and photoplethysmographic sensors to distinguish at least one unique biometric characteristic such as retinal or facial images, palm prints, gesture patterns and signature. In a different arrangement, the remote control could combine two or more biometric sensors or buttons that would send instructions to the device.

Biometric fingerprint detection, for example, will prevent children from watching age-inappropriate programs. Apple is considering biometrics integration with other devices such as “one or more televisions, set top boxes, media centers, desktop computing devices, media controllers, media players, laptop computing devices, wearable devices, tablet computing devices, mobile computing devices, cellular telephones, smart phones, kitchen appliances, automobiles, voice over internet protocol telephones, displays, microphones, speakers, video game console, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning) systems, lighting systems, and/or any other electronic device(s).”

Biometric features are not limited to Touch ID, Apple says, as it considers a number of sensors varying from retina or iris, an electrocardiography sensor, a vein imaging sensor and voice sensor.

For its product portfolio, Apple is also looking to integrate technology similar to Touch ID that analyzes palm veins through multiple screen layers, rather than authenticating users based on the shape of their hand.

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