Apple is investigating the possibility of integrating Touch ID biometric technology into an Apple TV remote control or home automation remote control, according to a new patent. As first reported by Apple patent, Apple received a utility patent this week, describing a "covering television, home appliances, doors, appliances and more" with biometric authentication.
As he remarks Apple patent, it is important to note that this is a utility patent, not a design patent. This means that the patent does not provide a glimpse into a potential design for a future Apple TV or home automation remote control, but rather the idea that "the delivery of a biometric system should be included with a remote control."
The idea presented in the patent is that the remote control, which could be used for Apple TV or home automation, would have one or two Touch ID sensors. This will allow you to authenticate purchases from your Apple TV, control secure HomeKit accessories, and more.
The patent summary states:
An electronic device having at least one operational setting, such as a power setting, with at least a first state and a second state. The electronic device may also include an access controller that can receive status data and authorization data from an external source, such as a remote control. The access controller may activate a state of the operational setting upon receipt of the corresponding authorization data received from or related to the output of at least one biometric sensor associated with the remote control.
According to the patent, the remote control could have one or more types and biometric authentication sensors. There may also be integration with parental control functions to limit what children can do using the remote control.
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As always, it's important to note that Apple patents ton of different technologies and a very small percentage of them end up being used in consumer-oriented technology. That being said, it's interesting to imagine an Apple TV or a smart home remote control with Touch ID integration.
Personally, I think it's particularly interesting to think about how Apple plans to venture deeper into the smart home market in general. While there are a variety of powerful third-party smart controller options, Apple could enter the market itself and offer deep integration with HomeKit and Apple TV.
How do you feel about an Apple Touch ID remote control? Tell us in the comments.
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