Apple has been granted a slew of new patents, including inventions related to NFC, the Apple Watch, and Touch ID. The 45 patents were recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
For its Apple Watch, the patents were largely design-related, while the NFC invention appears to extend the capabilities of Apple’s NFC technology to interact with NFC readers beyond those traditionally found in stores, such as security card readers and even compatible hearing aids. The Touch ID patent, meanwhile, stands out for its technological sophistication, detailing a system of scanning not just a fingerprint’s ridges, but also their “flow angles” as they pass over the sensor. And it even goes a step beyond that, laying out how the system could scan different ridge flow angles in different sub-regions of the sensor, mapping out an even more detailed picture of how a user’s finger passes over the sensor, in addition to the fingerprint itself.
It appears to be designed to further curb spoofing, which has successfully been undertaken against recent Apple smartphones. As fingerprint scanners have become more popular in the smartphone market thanks to Apple’s pioneering work with Touch ID, other companies have started to suffering embarrassment at their own such security vulnerabilities, and this new patent demonstrates how Apple is seeking to ensure its brand is among the most secure available.
Source: Patently Apple