Touch ID has been phased out of recent versions of the iPhone, but Apple is still exploring new uses for the technology. A new patent details plans for an Apple TV remote that uses Touch ID to prevent children from accessing material their parents don’t want them to see.
First filed in 2017, the patent is one of 64 that was recently granted and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. It also covers far more than Apple TV and Touch ID. The patent simply describes a remote with a biometric component that can be used to control an electronic device through a wireless connection, whether it’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or some other form of communication.
Though the patent uses a TV and a fingerprint sensor as examples, the remote could integrate another biometric modality, including face, iris, and gesture recognition. By the same token, the scope of the electronic device is not limited to TVs. The remote could control virtually any smart device, encompassing everything from living room mainstays like set top boxes and video game consoles to less conventional options like kitchen appliances and HVAC systems.
The remote would allow children to use it, but would require a passcode if the child tries to access restricted content.
Though it is not present in the iPhone 11, Bloomberg and Ming-Chi Kuo have both reported that Touch ID could return to Apple’s flagship smartphone sometime in the next few years, most likely through the use of an in-display fingerprint sensor. An earlier Apple patent detailed an acoustic fingerprint imaging solution that would allow the entire screen to function as a biometric sensor.
Apple has also integrated Touch ID into its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptop computers, as the tech giant consistently finds ways to leverage its proprietary fingerprint technology.
Source: Patently Apple