Apple patent would let devices ID users by their heart beats
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple patent would let devices ID users by their heart beats

Forget passwords and fingerprint technology. Apple is eyeing ways in which its devices can identity users by their heart beat. An Apple patent (number 20100113950) for a seamlessly embedded heart rate monitor has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The patent is directed to an electronic device having an integrated sensor for detecting a user's cardiac activity and cardiac electrical signals. The electronic device can include a heart sensor having several leads for detecting a user's cardiac signals. The leads can be coupled to interior surfaces of the electronic device housing to hide the sensor from view, such that electrical signals generated by the user can be transmitted from the user's skin through the electronic device housing to the leads. In some embodiments, the leads can be coupled to pads placed on the exterior of the housing.

The pads and housing can be finished to ensure that the pads are not visibly or haptically distinguishable on the device, thus improving the aesthetic qualities of the device. Using the detected signals, the electronic device can identify or authenticate the user and perform an operation based on the identity of the user. In some embodiments, the electronic device can determine the user's mood from the cardiac signals and provide data related to the user's mood. The inventors are Gloria Lin, Taido Nakajima, Pareet Rahul and Andrew Hodge.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Many electronic devices are used to store personal or confidential information. In particular, portable electronic devices such as cellular telephones, personal assistants, and music players are often used to store or access e-mail, contact lists, communications history, remotely accessed accounts (e.g., telephone, banking or credit card accounts), or other information that a user may regard as personal or private. In addition, several users may use the same electronic device.

"For example, several users in a household may use the same computer or portable music player. As another example, a user may lend an electronic device to a friend (e.g., lend an iPod, available from Apple Inc. to a friend for a workout or a trip). To enhance each user's experience with the electronic device, the electronic device can include several profiles that can be loaded and provided to the users of the device. Each profile can be associated with a particular user, and include several settings that allow the electronic device interface user interaction components, and available data or applications to be personalized for the user.

"The electronic device can use several approaches to identify the user of the electronic device and provide access to the user's private and personal information, or to load the user's personal profile. In some embodiments, the electronic device can identify or authenticate a user based on an input provided by the user, such as a password or key provided using an input mechanism. In some embodiments, the electronic device can include one or more sensors operative to detect a fingerprint, voice print, facial features, or other biometric characteristics of a user.

"Other biometric-based approaches can be used to authenticate a user. In some embodiments, an electronic device can authenticate a user based on the attributes of the user's heartbeat. For example, the durations of particular portions of a user's heart rhythm, or the relative size of peaks of a user's electrocardiogram (EKG) can be processed and compared to a stored profile to authenticate a user of the device. To detect a user's heartbeat or heart rhythm, however, the electronic device must provide at least two leads that the user contacts to detect the user's cardiac signals.

"Although the leads can simply be placed on the exterior surface of the device housing, for example in a defined location where the user may place a finger, this approach is not aesthetically pleasing, and may cause some prospective buyers to consider other devices. In addition, such an approach may require the user to perform a specific authentication action--viz., placing a finger on the one or more leads, then unlocking or accessing the electronic device features (e.g., by moving a slider across the screen). This additional step may in fact be so encumbering that users disable the authentication feature and instead use an unsecured electronic device.

"This is directed to an electronic device having a seamlessly integrated cardiac sensor. The cardiac sensor can be integrated in any suitable portion of the electronic device, including for example a portion with which the user is typically in contact (e.g., an input mechanism or a housing held by the user), or metallic or conductive portions of the device.

"The electronic device can include any suitable type of electronic device, including for example a portable electronic device that the user may hold in hand (e.g., a portable media player or a cellular telephone), a larger portable electronic device (e.g., a laptop computer), or a substantially fixed electronic device. The electronic device may include software or hardware operative to process the output of a cardiac sensor to extract, from the received output, characteristics of the user's heartbeat, heart rate, or other cardiac signals. For example, the electronic device may extract one or more characteristic durations associated with the user's heart rate. As another example, the electronic device may extract one or more characteristic amplitudes or amplitude ratios associated with the user's heart rate.

"Once the electronic device has identified one or more characteristics of the user's heart rate, heartbeat, or other cardiac signals, the electronic device can compare the one or more identified characteristics with cardiac signal characteristics of authorized users that have been stored in memory. In response to determining that the identified characteristics correspond to those of an authorized user (e.g., match those stored in memory), the electronic device can provide the user with access to the electronic device and load the identified user's personal settings and data.

"To determine the user's heart rate, heartbeat, or other cardiac signals, the electronic device can include one or more sensors embedded in the device. The one or more sensors can include leads for receiving electrical signals from the user's heart. For example, the one or more sensors can include leads associated with the user's left and right sides, and lead associated with the ground. To provide an electrical signal from the user to the processing circuitry, the leads can be exposed such that the user may directly contact the leads, or may instead or in addition be coupled to an electrically conductive portion of the device enclosure (e.g., a metallic bezel or housing forming the exterior of the device).

"Because each electronic device can include several leads, the leads may be electrically isolated to avoid shorting or interference among leads. In some embodiments, an electrically isolating component can be inserted between adjacent leads. Alternatively, if the electronic device enclosure is constructed from a material having insufficient conductivity for transmitting detected cardiac electrical signals, the distance along the enclosure between adjacent leads can be sufficient to isolate the leads. In addition, to ensure that the aesthetic appeal and appearance of the electronic device is retained, one or more of the isolating components, the leads themselves, and the device enclosure can be finished using a suitable process to disguise the leads.

"In some embodiments, if the electrical conductivity of portions of the electronic device enclosure and the leads are suitably selected and designed, the leads can be positioned underneath the exterior surface of the enclosure while providing sufficient conductivity for detecting cardiac electrical signals and avoiding shorting or interference between adjacent leads. For example, the sensor leads can be constructed from a silver based compound having high electrical conductivity, while the electronic device enclosure can be constructed from steel and aluminum, both having lower electrical conductivity. By placing several leads at substantially larger distances apart along the electronic device enclosure than the thickness of the enclosure, electronic signals can be transmitted through the steel or aluminum enclosure to a silver based lead underneath the enclosure, but not along the surface of the enclosure to cause adjacent leads to short."

 
AAPL
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.