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Apple Plans To Pair Devices Via Fingerprint Scans

Apple Plans To Pair Devices Via Fingerprint Scans

In a just released patent application Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) outlined a system for wirelessly pairing various devices using biometrics. These could include fingerprint scanners, retina scans, and even voice signatures.

In the patent application Apple said: “Given the prevalence of electronic devices (such as desktop computers, mobile computing devices, portable data storage devices, smart phones, digital music players, and so on) that store data in the modern world, many users may own and/or utilize more than one such electronic device. As such, users may need to wirelessly transfer data (such as music files, preference files, configuration files, document files, movie files, image files, and so on) back and/or forth between the storage media of various such electronic devices in order to make full use out of the electronic devices.”

File Transfer by Fingerprint

With a fingerprint sensor already available in the iPhone 5S, this patent quickly moves from “far-fetched” to “entirely possible.” This is not to say biometric-based device connection is just around the corner, although it’s worth noting that Apple applied for the patent in 2012, well before the 5S and its fingerprint sensor became available.

Biometric pairing, which would allow users to securely and quickly transfer data between a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, would be both beneficial and desirable.

Related: 4 Apple Stories You Need To Know From Wednesday

The iPhone 5S is currently the only Apple device with biometric capability, but adding a fingerprint sensor to other devices would likely not be a stretch for the company.

In general, Apple’s Touch ID system is considered secure, although it is said to be sensitive to sweat, according to CNET, and hackers have claimed the ability to get around the security system.

Many Biometric Opitons, Many Applications to Come

Although Apple's already in-use fingerprint sensor seems the most likely route the company would go, the patent does not specify. Instead, it suggests the possibility of using fingerprint sensors, palm prints, face-recognition, retina scans or even voice signatures.

It’s even possible Apple has in mind the eventual implementation of more than one type of biometric pairing of its devices.

Meanwhile Patently Apple noted Thursday a recent report in the Korea Herald titled "Era of biometrics begins." In the report the newspaper said, "Not only computers but also cars, televisions and front doors of people's homes can one day in the near future be controlled by either the touch of a button on a mobile device or even by an advanced recognition algorithm or solution.”

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.


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