Apple Researching Bio-authentication processes for the Apple Watch

Apple Watch Bioauthentication

Apple is exploring bio-authentication processes for the Apple Watch. This would mean having a light field camera that can perform bio authentication from a dorsal side of a forearm near your wrist.

Related reading:

Apple’s bio-authentication approach

This research came to light from a patent that was recently approved.

Apple’s Patent # 10,817,594 explores the company’s thinking around how it could develop alternate authentication processes for its popular wearable.

apple watch passcode

Currently, authentication on the Apple Watch is limited to passcodes, unlike iPhone and iPad which have featured touchID and FaceID technologies.

This process around using a light field camera for authentication has been kicked around before by other researchers as well. In particular, this research on using Vein images on your wrist as a basis for bio-authentication is noteworthy.

Bio-authentication on the Apple Watch

The light field camera may be used to image a forearm near the wrist of a user. The imaging may be performed from a dorsal side of the forearm.

A synthetic focusing operation may be performed on a light field image obtained from the light field camera, to construct at least one image of at least one layer of the forearm near the wrist. Apple Watch Bioauthentication

A set of features of the forearm near the wrist may be extracted from at least one image and compared to a reference set of features.

For example, images of a hair follicle pattern, a vascular pattern, a vein pattern, an artery pattern, a blood perfusion pattern in the skin, a blood perfusion pattern in tendons, a blood perfusion pattern in the fascia, a tendon pattern, a connective tissue pattern, a skin pigmentation pattern, a pore pattern, and/or a bone shape pattern obtained during a bio authentication enrollment process performed for the user. vein based authentication on Apple Watch

An operation (e.g., a bio authentication operation, a bio authentication enrollment operation, a secure transaction operation, a health monitoring operation, or a health assessment operation) may be performed in response to whether the set of features matches the reference set of features.

Biometric data helps users with their health and fitness goals and measurements

As per the patent, in other examples, user biometric data is collected for providing users with feedback about their health or fitness levels.

series 6 apple watch back sensors

Further, other uses for personal information data, including biometric data, that benefit the user are also contemplated by the present disclosure.

The other important element around adding the light-field camera on the rear side of the Apple Watch is that it opens up the possibility of including additional image processing algorithms for the possibility of a more robust arterial blood pressure measurement system.

This would be huge if it were incorporated into the next-gen Apple Watches.

Imagine, no more stumbling around with passcodes and such or lifting your watch up to your face ( if there’s such a thing as faceID for watches).

Simply strap on your Apple Watch and it knows what to do!

Patents are critical clues into what’s next!

As with all patents, it’s not clear whether and if this will make it to a next-gen Apple Watch, but given the current authentication technology on the Watch, it makes sense that Apple might think different and surprise us all.

Previous articleXiaomi all set to release the new Mi Watch Lite Smartwatch
Next articleAmazon Halo Tone Analysis : A Beginner’s User Guide and review
Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.