(Pocket-lint) – Apple could reinvent the Apple TV remote again, by integrating its Touch ID technology into the controller, according to a new patent.
As first spotted by Patently Apple, Apple has been granted a patent for a “remote covering television, home devices, doors, appliances and more” with biometric authentication. It’s assumed this remote would be for Apple TV, but Apple could also be imagining a HomeKit remote with Touch ID.
The confusion stems from the fact the patent is actually a utility patent – not a design patent – so there are no images of the device included.
Instead, the patent describes Apple’s idea – mainly the “a biometrics system being included with a remote”. The remote would feature one or two Touch ID sensors and could be used for the Apple TV or smart home automation. It might also feature multiple biometric authentication types.
Here’s the abstract for the patent:
“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 state data and authorization data from an external source such as a remote control. The access controller may enable a state of the operational setting upon receipt of proper authorization data received from or related to the output from at least one biometric sensor associated with the remote control.”
The patent also mentions possible integration with parental control features to restrict what children can do with the remote.
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Just keep in mind that Apple’s patents do not always come to fruition in the form of a consumer product you can buy. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see what the Cupertino-based company is envisioning, including any potential moves it could be planning in the smart home industry.
Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 29 December 2021.