With fingerprint sensors now widespread across the mobile device ecosystem, the technology’s proliferation to new consumer devices continues, and a next stop may be the professional camera. A newly published patent indicates that Canon has been exploring fingerprint biometrics since at least last year.
Filed in July of 2017, the patent depicts a professional camera with fingerprint sensors mounted both on the side of its main body and on the side of its lens. The sensor could be used to automatically adjust settings to a registered user whenever that user authenticates with a fingerprint scan, just as companies in the automotive sector are now exploring how biometric identification can be used to automatically configure in-car settings personalized for each passenger.
While this is the focus of the patent, there are obvious security applications of this technology, too. If fingerprint recognition were used to regulate access to a camera roll, it could help photojournalists to protect their work in situations where censorship and other kinds of state interference represent a risk. It could also stop a thief from using the device. But Canon’s focus, for now, is on the more pedestrian application of customized settings.
So is a fingerprint-scanning camera on the way? That, of course, is totally up in the air, as beyond the patent Canon hasn’t actually indicated that such a product is in the pipeline. But the fact that Canon has even been exploring the technology helps to illustrate just how ubiquitous fingerprint biometrics have become.