Biometric security has come quite a long way. These days we can authenticate our identity using fingerprints, facial recognition and even retina scans on mobile devices. You might say we’re all living in a ‘90s spy movie, especially now that Apple’s looking to introduce wrist authentication for its wearable Apple Watches.
This week Apple filed a patent (the only surefire way to know what Apple is planning these days), that uses a light sensor on the back of its Watch to authenticate a user’s identity.
Using ‘Wrist ID’, you’ll be able to unlock your Apple Watch simply by strapping it onto your wrist. Utilising the patented light mechanism, it’ll shoot a beam (non-lethal, we hope) into your wrist, which is then used to generate a field image of that area. According to TNW, this veiny area in the human wrist is just about as unique as a fingerprint. We didn’t know wrists were so exceptionally unique but Apple’s convinced, so we’ll be paying attention to this one.
It’s about time for a feature like this for Apple Watches, though. Because these little gadgets don’t host a camera or fingerprint sensor, users must opt for a trusty old passcode every time it is slid on a wrist again. An advanced authentication method may also streamline quite a few processes that you’d generally use TouchID or FaceID for on other Apple devices. It’ll make accessing Apple Pay and buying apps online more secure than utilising a passcode.
Obviously, this is still just a patent, so don’t get too excited just yet. The tech will likely through a rigorous testing process to ensure it works on any type of skin/arm, while keeping security in mind. If the sensors can be fooled easily or they won’t pick up minute details, it won’t be as trustworthy as Apple’s other biometric security options and the idea itself may be scrubbed.
Hopefully now, however, as this would be an ideal method to introduce biometric authentication to the wearable devices. We’re excited to see the feature come to market (assuming it does…).