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back to article Apple patents touch display that KNOWS YOU by your fingers

Apple's next iPhone is widely rumored to include a fingerprint sensor, but if Cupertino's latest patent filing is any indication, it may be a sensor unlike anything we've seen before. Apple's filing goes by the tongue-twisting title "Finger sensor having pixel sensing circuitry for coupling electrodes and pixel sensing traces …

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Big Brother

:-(

Once the system has your finger prints you can't get them back.

But thats ok because if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/09/post_office_admits_false_accusations_after_computer_system_cockup/

http://www.laticsdrivertraining.com/blog/2009/04/28/bbc-watchdog-investigates-dvla-licence-blunder/

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Re: :-(

Since coming to the US I've been required to submit fingerprints: (i) in order to apply for a visa; (ii) every time I wish to enter the country; and (iii) in order to get a driving licence. The last one applies equally to US citizens, and is the general norm for official agencies.

To my native UK I've been required to submit fingerprints: never.

So I suspect Americans have already come to terms with giving their fingerprints away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: :-(

My wife knows me by my fingers........

"Get off and keep your hands to yourself!"

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Anonymous Coward

Privacy concerns aside, I loved this on my atrix and very easy to use. I don't understand why they didn't stick with it.

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Anonymous Coward

At least it sounds like someone put some actual work into this patent instead of their usual spurious bullshit.

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Not that bad

Hmm, I could perfectly understand if a fairly secure way of unlocking your phone by just using it with your own fingers would be perceived as a bloody good idea by most people, all snickering about the usual "Apple and patents, haha" aside.

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Thumb Up

Re: Not that bad

Actually the first patent i've heard of from apple in a long time that actually sounds like a real patent rather than an obvious idea...

Sure they may have brought another company to get it, but thats what they did for the iPhones screen originally anyway IIRC....

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Facepalm

"might be made of something like indium tin oxide"

"might be made of something like fairy dust"

i.e., we haven't built a working prototype, but we'd like a patent anyway on some sketchy drawings.

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Re: Not that bad

This something worth patenting. Rounded corners and slide to unlock not so much...

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Thumb Down

Re: Not that bad

Mercedes briefly marketed a car that you unlocked with your fingers (in SA). That was until carjackers started amputating the driver's finger when they robbed him of his car ....

I am never going to allow a part of my body to be a key to an object of value!

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WTF?

Re: Amputating fingers

And then what? did they have it stuffed and put it on a key fob?

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Re: Amputating fingers

did they have it stuffed and put it on a key fob?

Gruesome thought! Maybe some bad guys do just that. More likely they use the amputated digit to drive the car to the criminals garage, where the car is dismantled for spares.

Life is cheap in SA(*). People count themselves lucky if a carjacker leaves them alive, instead of shooting them dead for a more certain getaway.

(*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Firearm-homicide rate UK 0.04 USA 3.6 SA 17.0

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Big Brother

NSA [heart] Apple

The contracts are already being crafted.

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Bronze badge

Biometrics the least interesting option here

A far more useful and practical usage of this sort of technology would be to allow the device to recognise the specific digit you are using to touch whichever region of the screen. That would open up all sorts of UI "multi-touch" options, like touching with thumb means one thing but index finger another.

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Anonymous Coward

Next up: tongue print

That way the various three letter agencies can collect your DNA as well. That should suit some mobile phone owners, who would love an excuse to french kiss their status symbol.

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Anonymous Coward

put out your finger please, this won't hurt for long.

So if someone wants to steal your phone they may need to cut off a digit as well. I can see this happening.in some countries. So if you go abroad it might be an idea to leave your NSA iSheep product at home, unless you like cheap body modification.

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Re: put out your finger please, this won't hurt for long.

Part 60 in the diagram is a hacked off finger!

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Meh

What's wrong with using the back of the phone?

The back of a phone is often unused space, so why not put a reader there? Trying to combine a screen and fingerprint reader seems like an expensive way to compromise the quality of both.

The more iPhones get stolen, the more replacements are bought. We know that there's been considerable resistance to making smartphones less attractive to thieves. Perhaps Apple are planning for regulation in this area or are increasingly worried that more people will think that the best defence against a big financial loss is to buy an Android smartphone that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to replace.

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Re: What's wrong with using the back of the phone?

Because fingers touch the screen all the time anyway. A phone could be set to automatically lock upon sensing someone else's fingers

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M7S
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Re: What's wrong with using the back of the phone?

Decent protective cases, although screenguards might also be an issue. My ithinies and things made by other fruity compaies are fairly well wrapped up.

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Bronze badge

Just another example

of Apple rejigging an existing patent (biometrics) with an "on an iDevice" addition to the text. Plenty of laptops have come out with fingerprint scanners. Thinkpad T42, HP DV6, etc.

Move along, nothing to see here.

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Re: Just another example

Nice to see you've understood the article...

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FAIL

Re: Just another example

Now i'm hardly apples biggest fan but did you actualy bother to read the article? At all?

Even skim reading the other comments would have given you the gist.

I've had a few thinkpads and a dell or two with a fingerprint scanner. I don't recall any of them having the scanner built into the TOUCH SCREEN.

This, for once, is actually something that hasn't really been done before. Rather than an attempt to patent "the wheel".

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Re: Just another example

See fairy dust comment above.

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Anonymous Coward

Possibilities....

E-Meter and 'Affordable' Auditing! Apple's clientele would be perfect for Scientology!

Anon cause well its a joke against you know who!

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I doubt it

Since numerous entities have developed the same basic tech concurrently over the past few years I doubt Apple's current patent will be sustained on appeal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I doubt it

Can you show us one?

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Anonymous Coward

All this stuff is obvious once Apple have done it.

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Devil

You are Steve Jobs and I claim my free patent.

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Boffin

What if you don't have fingerprints?

Let's say you've been using a lathe or something and all your fingerprints have rubbed off? How do you unlock your phone then?

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Facepalm

Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

You're not supposed to lathe your fingers ;)

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FAIL

Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

"Let's say you've been using a lathe or something and all your fingerprints have rubbed off? How do you unlock your phone then?"

Very good point. And suppose you're on a desert island and you've cut your hands off using a machete whilst harvesting coconuts. And your phone's flat and you've no way of charging it? and it's not your phone - you found it? And it's not even an iPhone, but an original old non-GSM Motorola? How does your fancy-shmancy technology work now, Apple? Huh?!?? HUH?!?!

See - that told 'em....

Buggrit....

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Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

mash to unlock???

or have an able fingered friend disable the fingerprint sensor when the phone is set up....

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Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

This is actually a possibility.... Working with clay on a potters wheel can wear your fingerprints away so that you have smooth fingertips.

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Silver badge

Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

Canadian oilfield workers can lose their fingerprints permanently. It's caused by repeatedly getting frostbitten fingertips, in turn caused by removing gloves in winter to do something fiddly, and accidentally touching a metal surface onto which one's finger-tip will instantly freeze.

Criminals have been known to attempt the same using a freezer. I suspect a freezer isn't as cold as outdoors in a Canadian winter.

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Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

I can vouch for the Canadian winter temperatures, but what about something more commonplace - how about if you cut your finger(s) slicing carrots for dinner and you have bandages (plasters?) covering your fingerprints?

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Boffin

Re: What if you don't have fingerprints?

Well there's always Ear-prints but this does rely on the next generation of phones being held against the head in the traditional manner.

There was also was some biometric research done over two decades ago on the unique echo signature of an individuals audatory canal.. the bit you shove the cotton bud into, I suppose that could work in theory for phone handsets.

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naw

:-) Cool Idea

I'm going to submit a patent where a blood sample / DNA has to be offered in order gain access to my device. Much more secure than fingerprints.

What could possibly go wrong...

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