Biometrics Stories July 23, 2015

Apple patents TV remote with Touch ID, references both television and HomeKit applications

While Apple reportedly dropped its plans to make a complete TV, its adoption of the Apple TV box as the gateway device for HomeKit may be behind a patent for a TV remote with Touch ID.

As is often the case, the patent is expressed in extremely broad terms, referring to a “sensor configured to detect a biometric characteristic of a user” and mentioning everything from iris detection to voice sensing, but a fingerprint is included and appears to be what is shown in the main drawing.

Apple suggests that biometric authorization could be used both for things like selecting an individual’s preferred channels on a TV, and for home automation applications like changing a thermostat temperature or opening a garage door.

As ever, the fact that Apple patents something is no indication that it will ever make it into a product.

Via Patently Apple

Biometrics Stories July 21, 2015

Touch ID built into iPhone display one step closer as third-party company announces new tech

The possibility of Apple embedding the Home button into the display of a future iPhone model got a step closer today as a third-party company announced technology that allows fingerprints to be read through Gorilla Glass.

TNW reports that Sonavation has developed ultrasonic fingerprint sensors capable of 3D scanning from beneath the Gorilla Glass Apple uses for its iPhone displays.

Though details on how it will work are sparse, Sonovation says its sensors are “capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys.” It also says 3D scanning can take place if a finger is wet, dirty or oily — all without compromising accuracy.

There’s nothing to suggest any link between Apple and Sonavation – this is merely an indication that the type of technology required to replace a physical Home button with an embedded one is already out there. A sketchy report last month suggested that Apple is working on this type of technology.

Don’t look for this in the iPhone 6S, though. While a recent leak confirmed our report that the new iPhone would get Force Touch, it also revealed that the external appearance of the phone will be almost identical to the iPhone 6.

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

Biometrics Stories November 21, 2014

The Jawbone UP bracelet has been on the market for three years receiving improvements every year. The Jawbone UP 24 received a major update: Bluetooth LE. Initially to sync the data onto the phone, the user had to plug the band into the phone’s headphone jack and wait, typically about fifteen seconds, for the data to sync into the app.

Now, since the UP 24 has Bluetooth LE capabilities, it is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, the fifth generation iPod Touch, the third generation iPad and newer as well as the iPad Minis. Jawbone has made the UP 24 to be compatible with Android phones. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Jawbone UP app.

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Biometrics Stories December 21, 2013

Screenshot 2013-12-08 22.32.23

Nike’s fitness band, the FuelBand came out in February of 2012. The Nike+ FuelBand SE, the newest model of the fitness device, was released last month. Since it relies on Bluetooth LE, the Nike+ FuelBand SE is compatible with the iPhone 4S and later, as well as the fifth generation iPod Touch. Bluetooth LE allows the band to automatically connect with the Nike+ FuelBand App. The new FuelBand has been designed to be more accurate and more water-resistant.

I have been using the Nike+ FuelBand SE for a little over a month, going through two defective units (one with a broken clasp, and one with a faulty battery and accelerometer) and finally stuck with the third band (which had a sticky button) for the purpose of this review.

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Biometrics Stories October 10, 2013

Poll: Which iWatch concepts are you a fan of?

Earlier this year, we reported that Apple is engaging in a push to hire talent to work on wearable devices (an “iWatch”). Since then, we noted that Apple hired two notable wearables specialists from Nike: Jay Blahnik (a consultant on the Fuel Band) and Ben Shaffer. Based on these hires, we believe that the iWatch will hit the market within the next couple of years.

iWatch concepts are constantly emerging. A new poll on Polar shows thirty-seven different iWatch concepts. Some of the concepts we have covered in our roundups, and others are new that focus on iOS 7 software design. Of course, these are all concepts and mockups that may not look at all like the actual product. However, we thought it would be interesting to gather polls from Polar indicating which concepts are most enticing to Apple fans.

In the above poll system, you can vote for your favorite concepts and use the arrows to move between images.

Biometrics Stories May 22, 2013

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has provided seemingly accurate information about previous Apple hardware releases (timing non-withstanding), claims that Apple’s much-rumored wearable wrist device will not arrive until late 2014. The analyst pinpoints production to begin sometime in the second half of the year:

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