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Apple patents biometric monitoring and signature technology, proposes Face ID device orientation

Apple patents biometric monitoring and signature technology, proposes Face ID device orientation

The technology powering biometric facial recognition in Apple devices could also help iPhone and iPads orient the display to the user’s face, according to a new patent spotted by AppleInsider.

The patent application for “Using face detection to update user interface orientation” was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and describes a method for determining proper device orientation in situations where gravity does not help. The process does not require a full FaceID scan, and could determine what information is displayed, in addition to the display orientation.

“[Orientation] data obtained from a face detection process is used to determine or update the orientation of an application user interface (e.g., text and/or content) being displayed on a display of a device,” the patent reads.

This could be useful for situations such as when the device is on a table, rather than held by the user, but could also be useful when using an iPhone underwater. The latter use case is strictly theoretical, but could one day be a reality, as Apple has also had a patent application published by the USPTO for an “Underwater user interface.”

Apple has also been awarded a pair of patents, one for an “Apple Pencil,” featuring ultrasonic transducers, and another for a Apple Watch with notification from a biometric haptic monitoring system, Patently Apple reports.

The company applied for a patent for “Ultrasonic touch detection on stylus” in October, 2018. The newly awarded patent describes movements being precisely recorded with data on the touch, force, orientation and tilt the stylus is used with.

This could open up the possibility of biometric handwritten signatures being created with Apple devices, though no planned implementation is known of at this time.

A patent for a “Portable electronic device using a tactile vibrator” shows a haptic system for Apple Watch that can work with a biometric chest strap to monitor the wearer’s heart rate. Audible or inaudible vibrations could be used to privately alert the user in certain situations.

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