It is not the first time we hear rumors of a possible Apple Watch with Touch ID or even Face ID features, but at least now we can get an idea of how he first one could work. The guys over at Patently Apple are now showing us the latest patents for this device that were published yesterday.
Apple made a patent application for this new Apple Watch with Touch ID in 2017, and it was just published yesterday. It shows an idea of how they could place a Touch ID sensor in the Digital Crown of the device.
An electronic watch includes a housing defining a side surface of the electronic watch, a transparent cover coupled to the housing and defining a front surface of the electronic watch, an image-sensing element, and a crown extending from the side of the housing and defining an imaging surface. The crown may include a light-directing feature configured to direct, onto the image-sensing element, an image of an object in contact with the imaging surface.
The features that are analyzed may include features of a user’s skin (e.g., fingerprints, hair follicles), or any other optically detectable feature, texture, surface irregularity, image, or the like, of any object. In this way, the device may be responsive to skin (e.g., the skin of a user’s finger or hand), a stylus, a gloved finger, or any other suitable object with optically detectable features. As used herein, analysis of an image by an image sensor and/or other components of an electronic device may refer to an analysis of a stored image (e.g., the stored multidimensional array, which may be a digital photograph or a video).
It seems that Apple wants the Digital Crown in its future Apple Watch to read fingerprints and compare them to images stored in the device. Maybe another option, in the future, could give us an in-display fingerprint sensor, or perhaps we could even see it arrive in the power button, like a possible iPhone that could arrive in 2021.
Via Patently Apple