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Touch ID built into Apple TV remote in new patent

by Todd Haselton | July 23, 2015July 23, 2015 10:00 am PDT

Where is the new Apple TV? We’ve been waiting around for it for a while, and sort of expected some mention of it during Apple’s WWDC conference earlier this summer. That didn’t happen. New rumors suggest the revamped box will launch by the end of this year, perhaps with a touch-enabled remote and a new Apple TV streaming service. Now a patent, titled “Device Configuration for Multiple Users Using Remote User Biometrics,” suggests that Apple has at least explored the idea of adding Touch ID to the remote, too.

First spotted by PatentlyApple, the patent describes not only using Touch ID for accessing the TV or, perhaps buying content, with your fingerprint, but also for controlling home automation. Apple imagines using Touch ID to open the garage door, for example or to control the thermostat.

Additionally, it could be used to identify a user accessing the TV and then display age-appropriate content as set through parental controls. Since Touch ID might be configured for different user profiles, it can then be used to present catered content, such as music, videos, games, ads, shows, movies and more to a specific user.

The patent was filed in January and published on Thursday. It suggests Apple is exploring this sort of tech but doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see it in the next Apple TV, or ever.

USPTO PatentlyApple

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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