Microsoft is trying to patent a new mobile authentication system that combines fingerprint and gesture recognition. The patent, recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, could apply to future Windows smartphones, tablets, and other devices from Microsoft.
The aim appears to be to one-up rival biometric authentication systems, most notably Apple’s Touch ID system, which is based on fingerprint recognition. In fact Microsoft specifically calls out that system in its patent filing, noting that “it is fundamentally limited to devices with large physical buttons on the front, such as the home button on the iPhone.” Microsoft’s system, in addition to being multimodal, would allow for fingerprint sensing through the touchscreen.
Patently Apple points out that Apple has already been working on touchscreen sensor technology, so this new arms race could mostly revolve around the speed of each company’s deliver to market. In any case, it’s a race that will benefit the consumer by escalating the security capabilities on both companies’ devices. And it reflects Microsoft’s growing interest in security, with the company having made it a focus of its newly launched Windows 10 operating system, most notably through the built-in Windows Hello biometric authentication platform. Like Apple’s Touch ID, this is helping to familiarize mass market consumers with the advantages of biometric security, and could similarly help to secure user data and improve user attitudes towards security going forward.
Source: Patently Apple