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Future iPhones, iPads could recognize, adjust for individual users

post #1 of 31
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Relying on a user's picture or the sound of their voice, future portable devices from Apple like an iPhone or iPad could recognize individuals who pick up and use the item.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week revealed a patent application from Apple entitled "Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device." The security-centric invention describes methods to identify users through a picture, the sound of their voice, or even their unique heartbeat.

"The photograph, recording, or heartbeat can be compared, respectively, to a photograph, recording or heartbeat of authorized users of the electronic device to determine whether they match," the application reads. "If they do not match, the current user can be detected as an unauthorized user."

If an unauthorized user were to attempt to access an iPhone or another device, the owner of the handset could be notified in a variety of manners, including a phone call, text message or e-mail. It could even send the owner -- or the police -- a picture of the unauthorized user, or other information specific to the potential thief, such as the current location.

The handset could also recognize an unauthorized user if they do certain uncharacteristic activities with the phone. Specifically named are hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, or removing a SIM card.



But beyond security, such technology could also be used to identify individual users and allow users who share a product, like an iPad, to customize it to their liking. Apple has shown interest in such capabilities for some time.

In January, before the iPad was announced, The Wall Street Journal revealed that an early prototype of the device would use a camera to recognize users' faces, allowing it to be one device easily shared by the entire family. Apple reportedly experimented with the ability to customize the device, and have it automatically switch to a user's personal settings once they picked it up.

One early feature included virtual "sticky notes" that one user could leave for another, and would be read the next time they picked up the iPad.



Apple's security-centric patent application was first filed on Feb. 19, 2009. It is credited to Taido Nakajima, Pareet Rahul and Gloria Lin.

The invention is also not the first time Apple has explored recognizing users by their heartbeat. One patent application revealed in May dealt specifically with that technology, describing a heart rate monitor seamlessly built in to the exterior of an iPhone. Reading a user's unique biometric data, the iPhone could then recognize them.
post #2 of 31
First.... Hey, I gotta get to 5,000 posts somehow muah ha ha ha ha

SRSLY though don't pc laptops have face and finger recognition already? What am I missing here.
post #3 of 31
Perhaps they could start out with user accounts so that anyone who uses my iPad can't read my email and delete apps along with all of the saved data. That would be a neat 1980's trick.
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

First.... Hey, I gotta get to 5,000 posts somehow muah ha ha ha ha

SRSLY though don't pc laptops have face and finger recognition already? What am I missing here.


But do they send your picture to the police? Knock, knock... we received a 911 call for an unauthorized iPad user. Put your hands up and step away from the iPad.

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post #5 of 31
Google, HP and RIM start your photocopiers ... it isn't as much fun since Microsoft's broke down.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by StatCoder View Post

Perhaps they could start out with user accounts so that anyone who uses my iPad can't read my email and delete apps along with all of the saved data. That would be a neat 1980's trick.

And give me parental controls so I can set up an account for my 5-year-old without having to turn on airplane mode when he uses it.
post #7 of 31
Please Apple, bring support for multiple users to the iPad.

It's the single greatest overlooked feature on the Mac.

Most visitors to this forum may not understand as they are undoubtedly single, but when you have a family, multiple users are a must. Even IF you have multiple computers, don't you want YOUR desktop, YOUR mail, YOUR preferences, YOUR iTunes ratings, etc when you log in?

An iPad without support for users offers no privacy to YOUR mail, no Parental Controls for Safari or Apps for young children.

I'd rather buy multiple iPads for different rooms in the house than have everyone carry THEIR iPad from place to place.

MULTIPLE USERS IS A MUST!
post #8 of 31
As-is, the iPad is a one-user device.

It holds MY email, MY photos, MY apps and MY itunes songs, playlists and ratings but everyone else in the family must access their content via the internet and webmail. FAIL

Sure, multiple users would eat up more space, but that would push buyers toward the higher end models.
post #9 of 31
In general, Apple needs to come up with a solution that solves the multi-user problem on all devices.

Even on the Mac, you can run into problems with multiple users. Family members now have to make iTunes purchases through one users if they want all purchases accessible for all. Why not allow one master account with sub-accounts for family members? Purchases would download to that user as well as other users' libraries (if desired).

Right now, iTunes doesn't allow you to tag songs ripped from CD as EXPLICIT. So you really can't use Parental Controls to separate appropriate content. Best you can do is set up a kid-safe playlist.

And with all purchases in one user's account, ratings become a mess. See if you like High School Musical songs popping up in your top-rated smart playlist!
post #10 of 31
Easy fix.

iTunes should have one master library with a drop-down to choose another users' library if so desired. The sub-account libraries wouldn't duplicate the content, but would reflect that users' ratings, playlists, etc.

When streamed to an tv, the same choice of users would be available, with the edition of a guest option. User content would be optionally password-protected with user log-in.
post #11 of 31
Perhaps, on the iPad but it's not like you leave your iPhone layin' around for the whole family to use. I don't see a lot of value in this.
post #12 of 31
You're right.

Only need multiple users for the Mac, iPad and tv (or future iTV)
post #13 of 31
How about designing an iPad/iPhone display that automatically (and aesthetically) adjusts font size and displayed material based on my eyesight, so that I don't have to reach for my reading glasses every time? (It could be linked to something like http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eye-t...301596925?mt=8)

(Btw, Apple, please inform me of my royalty checks via PM on AI. Thanks. )
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

But do they send your picture to the police?

I doubt this would either. but it might put the photo in a remote spot you could access. Like say, linked in with 'Find my iDevice' in their MobileMe service.

Also, I'm thinking they aren't rushing to get this 'share' feature working. They want to sell devices after all. This patent could be one of those 'do it before someone else gets the idea and then they have to pay is to use this tech' games.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #15 of 31
How about simple multi-user support for the iPad first. After we get that feature--if we ever do--then we can start talking about Star Trek-level shit.
post #16 of 31
post #17 of 31
We really need user accounts on these devices, especially the iPad. I don't want my kids playing with my iPad is they can delete all my contacts, change my calendar, and mess with my email even though it would all be by accident. Without user accounts, the Mobile Me features become useless for those reasons, I think.
post #18 of 31
Exactly. Someone who gets it!

If you're not using multiple users and you have more than one person in the house you should be.
post #19 of 31
I have the same problem with people who claim that users want to watch TV on their Macs over a HDTV.

Maybe IN ADDITION TO, but not INSTEAD OF.

Again, this may work for a college student in a dorm or a single person living alone in an apartment, but for a family, NO WAY.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Google, HP and RIM start your photocopiers ... it isn't as much fun since Microsoft's broke down.

If am not mistaken kinect has facial and voice recognition software which automatically logs you
on to xbox live when you stand infront of it. Its also one of the proposed feature of windowns 8.
This time, just this time apple may be the one doing the copying.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Relying on a user's picture or the sound of their voice, future portable devices from Apple like an iPhone or iPad could recognize individuals who pick up and use the item....

Cool! I read an article on this in Omni magazine in 1979! They swore that this technology was "just around the corner," and I'm glad to see that it's still "just around the corner," today.

In case you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. This will never happen in a million years. Count on it.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacinScott View Post

Most visitors to this forum may not understand as they are undoubtedly single

What exactly are you implying?

(You're probably not wrong).
post #23 of 31
Tends to be a younger, single, male demographic that is interested in Mac rumor sites/forums. Same for any tech site or blog.

Just that views on these sites don't always represent the wider consumer base. We quibble over features or specs that most consumers are unaware of.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

first.... Hey, i gotta get to 5,000 posts somehow muah ha ha ha ha

srsly though don't pc laptops have face and finger recognition already? What am i missing here.

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post #25 of 31
Just a different way of logging in to user accounts.
post #26 of 31
Does this mean my iPhone will detect my frustration when it's not working properly, and then automatically send an angry email to Steve Jobs?
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

Does this mean my iPhone will detect my frustration when it's not working properly, and then automatically send an angry email to Steve Jobs?

Nah, it will automatically start trolling AppleInsider forums for you when it senses your dissatisfaction.
post #28 of 31
Sounds nifty. But how about an iphone that allows more than an archaic grid of squares as a UI? Or a phone that senses you are holding it that doesnt shut down the signal?
post #29 of 31
Of course, this will probably be used to identify whose using it to show them ads, or perhaps setup a mechansim for cell phone companies to only allow access to the phone for the individual who owns it and charge if someone unauthorized uses it. It's all about the green.
post #30 of 31
Dude...I just followed a ink from Drudge to AI. Wow.

Movin on up!
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Relying on a user's picture or the sound of their voice, future portable devices from Apple like an iPhone or iPad could recognize individuals who pick up and use the item.

The handset could also recognize an unauthorized [or authorized-my addition] user if they do certain uncharacteristic activities with the phone. Specifically named are hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, or removing a SIM card.


The invention is also not the first time Apple has explored recognizing users by their heartbeat. One patent application revealed in May dealt specifically with that technology, describing a heart rate monitor seamlessly built in to the exterior of an iPhone. Reading a user's unique biometric data, the iPhone could then recognize them.

In a way this sounds Orwellian. THEY can know where you are and track your whereabouts.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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