Apple is investigating the possibility of integrating its Touch ID biometrics technology into an Apple TV remote or home automation remote, according to a new patent. As first reported by Patently Apple, Apple was granted a utility patent this week, describing a “remote covering television, home devices, doors, appliances and more” with biometric authentication.

As noted by Patently Apple, it’s important to remember that this is a utility patent, not a design patent. This means that the patent does not provide a look at a potential design for a future Apple TV or home automation remote, but rather the idea of the “delivery of a biometrics system being included with a remote.”

The idea presented in the patent is that the remote, which could be used for the Apple TV or home automation, would feature one or two Touch ID sensors. This would allow you to authenticate purchases on the Apple TV, control secure HomeKit accessories, and more.

The abstract for the patent reads:

An electronic device having at least one operational setting, such as a power setting, with at least a first state and a second state. The electronic device may also include an access controller that can receive state data and authorization data from an external source such as a remote control. The access controller may enable a state of the operational setting upon receipt of proper authorization data received from or related to the output from at least one biometric sensor associated with the remote control.

According to the patent, the remote could feature one or multiple biometric authentication types and sensors. There could also be integration with parental control features to limit what children are able to do using the remote.

9to5Mac’s take

As always, it’s important to keep in mind that Apple patents a ton of different technologies and a very small percentage of them end up being used in consumer-facing technology. That being said, it is interesting to imagine an Apple TV or general smart home remote with Touch ID integration.

Personally, I think it’s especially interesting to think about how Apple plans to venture deeper into the smart home market in general. While a variety of powerful third-party smart home controller options exist, Apple could enter the market itself and offer deep integration with HomeKit and Apple TV.

What do you think about an Apple remote with Touch ID integration? Let us know down in the comments.

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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