Apple has just offered a user recognition solution with AirPods and their ears.
We already know the system for unlocking an iPhone or Mac with an Apple Watch, but it seems that the Apple brand wants to go even further in this area. Indeed, in a patent application spotted by Patently Apple and named “User identification using earphones” Apple therefore seeks, as its name suggests, to know who are the people who wear AirPods.
As Apple clearly points out in its patent, this is a very important step in the interests of ever greater confidentiality within the Apple ecosystem. Indeed anyone can take the AirPods of a friend or a colleague to put them on for a few moments and then hear notifications read by Siri.
A problem of confidentiality at the origin
The fact that anyone can have access to personal data in this way is not an idea that appeals to Apple, and the Cupertino company seems to be keen to solve this problem. Also according to the patent of the Apple brand, the headphones would be able to measure a reliability score for all the people who wear the headphones.
In order to know if the person on the other side of the AirPods is indeed the owner of these, it is a question of calculating the number of devices recognized as belonging to the owner of the headphones to know if it can be him. For example, if the iPhone in connection with the AirPods is in an area that could be the pocket of a trouser, then Apple will assume that the person who has the iPhone and the headphones is the owner of these.
Ear ID: Apple’s new biometric system?
But the system could go even further, and after Face ID or Touch ID, Apple could very well launch Ear ID. Indeed in its patent the Cupertino company explains that the ears, like a face or a fingerprint are extremely precise biometric factors, and no one has the same ear as his neighbor.
Thus Apple would seek to send ultrasounds in the ear of the person to try to recognize if it is indeed the person who registered as the owner of the AirPods. Apple concludes its patent by explaining that the AirPods could also be able to recognize a person according to their voice or their gait thanks to the accelerometers and other gyroscopes located in the headphones.