The Apple Watch Series 7 could bring several innovations. As we have come to realize, Apple already has several technologies designed and patents give us an idea of ​​what is being designed. According to another registered patent, the Apple Watch may use a light camera to authenticate the user.

The company thus seeks to replace the 4-digit code for authentication on the smartwatch. This may be the safest alternative to what currently exists. So, let’s see what this is about.

Apple Watch image with light camera illustration

Light field camera patent to authenticate with Apple Watch

Today, user authentication on the watch is done using a 4-digit code. This is because the ability to use a Face ID sensor or a Touch ID sensor is severely limited.

As such, the record shows that Apple wants to use a field light camera for this purpose. Therefore, the purpose of this technology will be to capture an image of the forearm close to a user’s wrist. The image can be taken from the dorsal side (upper part) of the forearm.

A set of forearm features near the wrist can be extracted from at least one image and compared to a set of reference features.

For example, can this camera capture an image of a hair follicle pattern, a vascular pattern, a vein pattern, an artery pattern, a blood perfusion pattern on the skin, a blood perfusion pattern on the tendons, a blood perfusion pattern on the fascia, a tendon pattern, a connective tissue pattern, a skin pigmentation pattern, pore pattern and / or a bone shape pattern obtained during a bioauthentication registration process performed for the user, among several others.

Apple Watch patent authentication technology illustration

Apple may use bioauthentication on its wearable

A bioauthentication operation or a health monitoring operation can be performed to determine whether the resource pool matches the resource reference pool.

A light field chamber, also known as a plenotic chamber, captures information about the light field that emanates from a scene; that is, the intensity of light in a scene and the direction in which the rays of light travel in space. This contrasts with a conventional camera, which records only the intensity of the light.

Since many wearables today they have a hard time getting accurate sensor values ​​due to skin color or pigmentation or tattoos, Apple’s approach is responsible for that. Thus, melanin pigmentation can have a very different absorption spectrum from blood. Therefore, the avascular pattern (for example, a blood perfusion pattern on the skin) will be used to overcome the challenges associated with proper bioauthentication of users.

Other wearable devices have also been exploring vascular image authentication methods for some time. Still, none of the devices on the market today have sophisticated authentication processes.

The Apple patent, US20210004444, was registered on September 17, 2020 and approved in the first week of January 2021.

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