Apple looks to protect IP on biometrics for vision correction and headset authentication
Apple has included facial recognition technology for the iPhone in one of its latest patents, which could potentially be used to help correct poor vision among users of its upcoming virtual reality headsets.
In the new tech, spotted by Patently Apple, an iPhone performs a facial recognition scan of a user with its optical sensor system.
This captures images using a “dot pattern” to create a biometric identity “depth map” of the face it is used on, or set of these.
The tech came as part of a wider patent for vision-correcting technology, which could theoretically help to combat poor eyesight in Apple’s new line of mixed reality headsets.
The news follows the Hong Kong Patent and Trademark Office publishing another patent filing for ‘Optic ID,’ the company new secure authentication system based on iris-based biometrics.
The tech giant has also been granted a patent in the U.S. and filed an application in Europe, though these used slightly different wording.
‘Optic ID‘ is set to handle biometric authentication for the new Apple Vision Pro Spatial Computing Headset, recently introduced at its annual WWDC23 Keynote, similar to how FaceID provides biometric authentication for iPhone users.
The tech giant also filed for yet another trademark — ‘Apple Reality’ — in Europe (UK), Australia, and New Zealand.
This is a term that has not been used in any of their public marketing material, and any potential link to biometrics is as of yet unknown.
Though this particular facial recognition technology is new, the is not the first biometrics-related patent the tech giant has rolled out in recent months.
In May, Apple was awarded a U.S. patent for binding a person to their digital ID with selfie biometrics.
In this patent, an iPhone user that has previously enrolled in a government ID program would then select the particular agency they wanted to interact with.
The users would then be able to connect this ID data collected on their phone to this government ID profile.
This type of tech could potentially be used for age verification.
Capturing health data may be one area of biometrics in which Apple which is performing strongly in.
According to data from Watch Faces, sales of the Apple Watch — whose ability to capture health data such as heart rate has remained consistently popular — hit 53.9 million in 2022, the first time it cracked the 50 million mark
In addition, the iPhone maker is also dominating the smart watch market as per the statistics, with the Apple watch accounting for 34.1 percent of all smartwatch shipments.