The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application that would bring new biometric features to the Touch Bar in Mac and MacBook computers. As reported by Patently Apple, The patent is technically a continuation patent, and adds 20 new claims to a pre-existing Apple filing.
The most noteworthy of those claims are the ones that concern biometric authentication. In its earlier incarnations, the Touch Bar only offered support for fingerprint recognition via Touch ID. The latest patents expand that utility with support for Face ID and iris recognition, any or all of which could be used to verify the identity of someone sitting at the computer. The technology could be used to log into the device, or for other applications that offer biometric security.
While these continuation patents are new, this is not the first time that Apple as hinted at a Touch Bar with face and iris recognition capabilities. The company made similar claims in patent applications that were published last August.
Since then, Apple has released 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro computers with a Magic Keyboard and a built-in Touch Bar with Touch ID support. That suggests that biometric authentication will be a standard feature for new Apple laptops moving forward.
Source: Patently Apple
August 14, 2020 – by Eric Weiss