Combining Touch ID with a MacBook seems like an obvious win but, in the years since Apple introduced the fingerprint reader, it has never even hinted at plans to put the same technology in a new laptop. Now we have the first proof that Cupertino has at least considered the idea thanks to a newly published patent.
The patent was filed all the way back in 2007, the same year Apple launched the original iPhone, and was approved on Tuesday. It describes a “finger sensing apparatus” similar to Touch ID. The document adds that the technology could find its way into a variety of devices like laptops, cellphones and PDAs.
Apple eventually brought Touch ID to the iPhone and then the iPad, which didn’t even exist when this patent was originally submitted. We’re still waiting for Apple to release a laptop with a fingerprint reader, but we may not have a wait much longer.
A report from earlier this year claimed Apple would include Touch ID support with its 12-inch MacBook. Clearly that didn’t pan out, but it’s possible the company could still be working on a similar update. For now, Touch ID is limited to products powered by its A-series mobile chips, so it will need to be adapted for a laptop processor. Cupertino may also be working on a new version of Apple Pay with MacBook support.
If Apple can overcome those obstacles, we may finally see a MacBook like the one described in this eight-year-old patent.