By David Worthington | Friday, March 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Apple is attempting to patent a method to conceal a biometric sensor inside of its products to allow users to lock down their systems without having to type in passwords.
This is something that I have been waiting for. I do not have a password for my iPhone, because the very thought of having to input it every time my phone goes into sleep mode is mind-numbing. If I could confirm my identity simply by touching the screen, I’d be a happy camper. And it would be more secure than a password–no one else has my fingerprints.
Rather than adding an unwieldy biometric reader to its products, Apple’s designers have dreamed up a way to hide it. The company could go in another direction: The patent includes some unorthodox alternatives for authenticating users using its existing technology, including the device being tilted in certain directions, voice recognition, and having the user touch symbols in a specific sequence.
If Apple can make it password-free authentication work in practice, it would be a valuable feature for its products. I’m not certain what the costs involved would be, but it would be a feature that I bet enterprise customers would pay more for.