Future AirPods Might Authenticate Your Identity Through The Shape of Your Ear Canal


Apple was previously rumored to include in-display Touch ID on future iPhone models along with Face ID. However, Apple could potentially move away from both options and devise an all-new method of authentication. A recently filed Apple patent hints at using AirPods for authentication. Scroll down to read more details on the subject.

Future Iterations of the AirPods Might Allow User Verification or Authentication By Checking the Shape of the Ear

The new Apple patent is titled "User Identification Using Headphones" and filed with the USPTO (via Patently Apple). The patent explains how the system can make use of AirPods to authenticate users using nearby devices, ultrasonic signals, voice recognition, and more. The patent also describes a potential security risk with wireless headphones as anyone can wear them to access information.

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Headphones may be utilized for listening to audio from another device and performing other various functions, such as providing voice commands to the device […]

Various outputs can also be provided to the user through the headphones. For example, upon receipt of a message at the mobile device, such as an instant message, an audible representation of the message may be provided to the user via the headphones.

However, conventional systems do not address whether the user wearing the headphones is authorized to interact with personal features of the device, such as receiving messages from the device. Accordingly, improved systems for user identification using headphones is desired.

The patent explains the use of ultrasonic signals which would act as a sonar to detect the shape of the ear canal. Additionally, the AirPods can use the movement data from the iPhone as well as Apple Watch. This will allow the system to learn your walking pattern, your gait, to confirm your identity.

For example, various characteristics of the user’s ear provide an echo of the ultrasonic signal which is unique to the user. Variations in the surface of the user’s ear canal may cause the ultrasonic signal to reflect off the surface and generate an echo having a signature that is associated with the user.

Take note that this is only a patent at this stage and the final word rests with Apple. Moreover, there is no word if the company will announce AirPods with a user identity authentication system any time soon. Nonetheless, we will keep you guys updated on the latest, so be sure to stick around.

This is all there is to it, folks. Do you think the user identity authentication system is better than Face ID? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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