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Apple event: iPhone 14 Pro reframes Face ID array, new temperature sensor for Apple Watch 8

Apple's AirPods Pro patent hints at 'Biometrics of the Inner Ear'
Apple event: iPhone 14 Pro reframes Face ID array, new temperature sensor for Apple Watch 8
 

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 lineup at its ‘Far Out’ fall event on Wednesday, alongside all the features of its upcoming iOS 16, new Apple Watches, and the second generation of the AirPods Pro.

It was an event that made many Apple fans happy. However, the iPhone maker did not particularly innovate in terms of biometrics this time.

Defying last year’s predictions, the iPhone 14 lineup does not have under-display biometrics and does not support Touch ID. The devices eschew fingerprint sensors altogether. They do, however, support Face ID.

From a hardware perspective, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature an updated cutout for the front-facing cameras and Face ID sensors Apple called the ‘Dynamic Island.’

Beyond housing the devices’ face biometrics technology, the Dynamic Island area can display music notifications, timers, and sports scores.

However, perhaps the greatest innovation in biometrics from the latest Apple event is the Watch Series 8’s new temperature sensor. Apple said it can calculate ovulation estimation and provide better menstrual cycle tracking, alongside generally improved fever detection capabilities.

As for the second iteration of the AirPods Pro, they improve on their predecessor by enhancing sound quality and noise cancellation and offering longer battery life. Nothing biometric-related here either, but Apple may have a trick up its sleeve as far as these earphones are concerned.

AirPods Pro patent shows’ Biometrics of the Inner Ear’ tech

Case in point, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently granted Apple a patent that shows a system capable of identifying AirPods users via inner ear biometrics.

The patent, spotted by Patently Apple, has number 11,438,683 and seems to suggest that if the biometrics do not match, the AirPods will not function.

From a technical standpoint, the technology seems to rely on a signature of the user’s ear created by an ultrasonic signal reflecting off the surface and generating an echo. The earphones may then acquire a response based on the resulting audio output.

According to the document, in some examples, the response is transmitted from the wireless headphone to another device (possibly an iPhone), suggesting the technology could also be used to unlock other devices.

It is yet unclear if the biometric technology will be implemented in AirPods Pro devices in the future.

The news comes weeks after Apple published a separate patent about ‘skin-sensing’ AirPods devices.

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