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Design beauty is more than skin deep in Apple patent filings and its AirPods

Design beauty is more than skin deep in Apple patent filings and its AirPods

For a company that makes so much of its face biometrics, Apple has a lot of skin-related product news out.

To be a bit more exact, Apple has one new product – skin-sensing AirPods – and two patent actions.

Trade publication Patently Apple has published some new details about third-generation AirPods, citing vendor marketing materials. MacRumors wrote about this development last October.

Among the biometric or biometric-adjacent features available in new models, according to Apple, are motion detection, speech detection, force sensor and, of course, skin detection.

Playback ends when the AirPods are removed, no doubt adding to their impressive six-hour battery life.

This is not electrical conductance. The devices will use light, including infrared, to detect skin, according to Patently Apple.

The same publication has dug up a new patent application by Apple for a more-technical intellectual property, this one ostensibly for its Watch and iPhone.

Horizontal cavity surface-emitting lasers under a display could scan faces and fingerprint, which is not so surprising in concept, but they also should be able to detect particulate matter in the air.

The lasers could be integrated with device cameras, too. Apple has applied for protection of similar technology involving short-wave infrared optical imaging.

And finally (for now), Apple has been awarded a patent for a “biometric button,” a fingerprint-scanner on the side of a Watch or, one assumes, any other Apple device that can be secured with biometric authentication.

The button could have deeper capabilities, including ID authentication for completing a purchase or accessing a resource.

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