Apple’s Recent Patent Filings Hint at Next-Gen Functionality

Some recent patent filings by Apple hint at amazing possiblities in the future of its iOS product line. How does facial, heartbeat and voice recognition sound to you? Believe it. Here’s the juicy details.

In the patent titled “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users on an Electronic Device,” Apple outlines a security system that lets users create login profiles for their iOS device. These profiles would authenticate via a variety of methods including voice, facial and heartbeat recognition. While no timeline has been drawn up for the technology, expect it within a few years at the most. Keep your fingers crossed if you want it in the iPhone 5, which will probably be getting NFC technology to let you use it as a debit or credit card.

Besides just the profile recognition features, the patent also outlines security features that would detect hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking and SIM removal attempts. Step aside BlackBerry, coming iPhones might just have security features you can only dream of (or license). Of course, this might be the death knell for the iPhone hacking scene. I certainly hope the hackers are better than Apple’s team.

Excited about this? I certainly am. This could herald a new era of smartphones that work as highly secure personal data storage devices and the preferred method of monetary transactions. How exactly an iPhone can detect and differentiate heartbeats between different people is another question. While the technology to detect human heartbeats from a distance does exist (think electromagnetic stuff too technical for me to even attempt to understand), consumer applications have been pretty much non-existent. The voice and facial recognition are already quite doable however.

So let me know what you think. Apple moving ahead and bringing technology with it that other smartphone manufacturers will simply be unable to duplicate? Can Android OS or BlackBerry smartphones even compete with some of these features? Are we going to have to wait until the iPhone 6 for these to see the light of day? Leave a comment.

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