Future Apple Watches could be equipped with a fingerprint sensor according to a patent

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Apple is notoriously slow when it comes to introducing common features into its products. The general rule of thumb is that if something was present 3 generations ago on an Android flagship, you can expect it to come to next year’s iPhone.

However, there is one feature that is somewhat conspicuously lacking in most modern wearables. Namely, some form of biometric sensor. With the speed at which they’re redefining the way we interact with technology, it’s almost strange that no one has tried to put a fingerprint reader on a smartwatch.

Admittedly, this is a bit exaggerated. Manufacturers have toyed with the idea of ​​implementing fingerprint scanners, but none have done so with much success. This is precisely why one of Apple’s newest patents is attracting attention.

According information published on Patently Apple, Apple successfully secured a patent for a fingerprint scanner on a future generation of Apple Watch. Considering that Apple generally enjoys refining new features more than inventing them, it makes sense that this patent stands out.

The fingerprint scanner, based on images from the official patent, will be located next to the device’s crown. The positioning isn’t entirely surprising given the limitations of the form factor, but this placement raises at least two questions.

First, since fingerprint scanners are usually embedded in a dedicated button, why would Apple add a parallel second button? It would have made much more sense to put the fingerprint reader in the crown. The only logical explanation is that future Apple Watches might come with a dedicated second button.

The second question, however, is much easier to answer. Why isn’t Apple experimenting with an under-display fingerprint scanner? Samsung has been doing this for years, and any reliability issues with the new technology are offset by the fact that a smartwatch will never be a user’s primary device.

Therefore, any security issues remain limited. But Apple is Apple, and it would never put something untried and tested on any of its products.

It should be noted that hundreds of patents are filed every day, and only a select few see the light of day. Apple may ultimately decide to never implement a fingerprint scanner in the Apple Watch. Or it could be done in an entirely different way. Or maybe, just maybe, it could be done the way this patent says.

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