A new Samsung patent hints that the company may bring a unique user authentication system to its smartwatches and other wrist-based wearables.
The patent describes a system in which light sensors act in collaboration with a camera sensor to trace a user’s vein structure, with the capability to also detect the user’s pulse. Both of these biometrics are unique to individuals and as such could be used for identification, with the patent indicating that the software could offer custom contact lists and ringtones upon identification of the user. But, as Fast Company notes, the system could also find user authentication applications such as access control.
While impressive, the technology described isn’t entirely groundbreaking. The Apple Watch features a similar light-based sensor system to track blood flow in users’ wrists with the aim of providing cardiac biometrics, though it could also be incorporated into an authentication system. And last summer Apple filed a patent in Europe that would enhance such a system with additional, behavioral biometrics from motion detection, which could add up to a very accurate identification and authentication capability.
Of course, in the case of both companies, it isn’t clear what they are going to do with the patents. But as excitement continues to build over wearables and mPayments, which often rely on biometric authentication, these patents may hint at some more advanced capabilities for future smartwatches.
Source: Fast Company