Apple invents new Biometric ID system for the Apple Watch, which involves the use of a light emitter and a light sensor to determine characteristic(s) of a user’s vasculature.
According to a new patent filing, Apple has invented a new Biometric ID system for the Apple Watch.
The invention involves the use of a light emitter and a light sensor to determine one or more characteristics of a user’s vasculature (arrangement of blood vessels in the body or in an organ or a body part). For example, a pulse oximeter employs a light emitter and a light sensor to measure the percentage of oxygenated blood in a subject.
According to Patently Apple, here’s a overview of how the system will work:
Apple invention relates to biometric identification based on Plethysmography. In examples of the present disclosure, light emitters and light sensors can be used to perform biometric identification of a user based on identifying characteristics of the user’s vasculature. For example, light information can be obtained at one or more light sensors, and the information can be compared to stored information associated with a user identity. Based on the comparison, the user of the device can be identified as having the user identity.
Each light emitter may emit light towards the user’s skin such that a portion of the light is absorbed by the skin, the blood, and/or other parts of the user’s body, and an additional portion of the light is reflected back to the co-located light sensor. The light sensor may generate information indicating an amount of light reflected. Such information can be used to determine how much of the light emitted by a co-located light emitter is absorbed by the blood of the user, which can further indicate the volume of blood present in the skin of the user. The volume of blood present in the skin can be a function of several factors, including the cyclical movement of blood to and from the skin and the particular physical characteristics of the vasculature of a user, among other possibilities.
Here’s hoping this comes to the Apple Watch within the next few years.