Apple patent filing hints at ‘PalmID’ on iPhones, iPads

There’s TouchID and FaceID. How about “Palm ID” on future iPhones and iPads?

Apple has filed for a patent (number 2019027873) for an “electronic device including palm biometric sensor layer and related methods.” In the filing, the tech giant says that biometric sensing and matching is a reliable and widely used technique for personal identification or verification. 

Apple says a biometric sensor may be particularly advantageous for verification and/or authentication in an electronic device, and more particularly, a portable device, for example. Such a biometric sensor may be carried by the body of a portable electronic device, for example, and may be sized to sense a biometric, for example, a fingerprint from a single-finger. 

Palm ID big.png

The “Palm ID” biometric authentication would use a palm biometric image sensor with a controller that may be configured to determine palm vein data from the image data resulting from the infrared light source. The controller may be configured to perform the biometric authentication based upon comparing palm vein data to stored palm vein data, for example. 

Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “An electronic device may include a display layer including light transmissive portions and non-transmissive portions. The electronic device may also include a palm biometric image sensor layer beneath the display layer and configured to sense an image of a user's palm positioned above the display layer based upon light reflected from the user's palm passing through the light transmissive portions of the display layer. 

“The electronic device may further include a controller configured to capture image data from the user's palm in cooperation with the palm biometric image sensor layer and determine a surface distortion of the user's palm based upon the image data. The controller may also be configured to perform a biometric authentication of the user's palm based upon the image data and the surface distortion.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.