Apple event: iPhone 14 Pro reframes Face ID matrix, new temperature sensor for Apple Watch 8

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Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 lineup at its “Far Out” fall event on Wednesday, along with all the features of its upcoming iOS 16, new Apple Watches and second-generation AirPods Pro.

It was an event that brought joy to many Apple fans. However, the iPhone maker hasn’t particularly innovated on biometrics this time around.

Defying last year’s predictions, the iPhone 14 line doesn’t have under-display biometrics and doesn’t support Touch ID. The devices completely avoid fingerprint sensors. However, they support Face ID.

From a hardware perspective, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature an updated cutout for the front-facing cameras and Face ID sensors that Apple calls “Dynamic Island.”

In addition to housing the devices’ facial biometrics technology, the Dynamic Island area can display music notifications, timers, and sports scores.

However, perhaps the biggest biometric innovation from the latest Apple event is the Watch Series 8’s new temperature sensor. Apple said it can calculate ovulation estimation and provide better menstrual cycle tracking, as well as generally improved fever detection capabilities.

As for the second iteration of the AirPods Pro, they improve on their predecessor by improving sound quality and noise cancellation and offering longer battery life. Nothing biometric here either, but Apple may have a trick up its sleeve when it comes to these headphones.

AirPods Pro patent shows ‘Biometrics of the Inner Ear’ technology

For example, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently granted Apple a patent that shows a system capable of identifying AirPods users via inner-ear biometrics.

The patent, spotted by Patently Apple, is number 11,438,683 and appears to suggest that if the biometrics don’t match, the AirPods won’t work.

From a technical perspective, the technology appears to rely on a signature of the user’s ear created by an ultrasonic signal reflecting off the surface and generating an echo. The headphones can then acquire a response based on the resulting audio output.

According to the document, in some examples the response is transmitted from the wireless headset to another device (possibly an iPhone), suggesting that the technology could also be used to unlock other devices.

It is not yet known whether biometric technology will be implemented in AirPods Pro devices in the future.

The news comes weeks after Apple issued a separate patent on “skin-sensing” AirPod devices.

Article topics

Apple | Apple Watch | biometrics | consumer electronics | facial biometrics | Face ID | iPhone | patents | temperature monitoring

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