• Creepy Heartbeat Recognition Coming To The iPhone?

    We've all heard of voice recognition, finger print sensors, and even retina scans, but the latest security feature that could become the next big thing is a wee but creepier - and maybe also a bit cooler - than other user-detection methods. According to a patent application from you know who, the folks in Cupertino may be tinkering with the prospect of an embedded iPhone security feature that would essentially "lock out" anyone's who's "cardiac signal" doesn't match that of the iPhone's owner or other authorized user.

    According to our friends at Patently Apple:

    Apple's first high-end enterprise quality biometric security system patent surfaced back in March of 2009 and with today's patent, Apple takes a giant leap forward in biometric security.
    The Apple patent in question - dubbed the "Seamlessly Embedded Heart Rate Monitor" - effectively provides a functionality by which a unique iPhone sensor detects a user's heartbeat on contact with the device. And somehow - don't ask me to explain this part - the "biometric data" can be ingested by the iPhone to determine if your identity matches that the of the device's authorized user(s). Here's how the patent application puts it: "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."

    For years, Apple has had its finger on the "pulse" of the smartphone industry, but this development certainly takes the cake. So sophisticated is the technology in development that the iPhone would be sensitive to far more than just the detection of a heartbeat. In fact, the patent explains that the sensor in question is intelligent enough to analyze the personalized characteristics of one's heartbeat, looking for subtle factors and other nuances that can distinguish an unauthorized user from an authorized one.

    Naturally, it doesn't seem likely the this extraordinary feature will be in place for the launch of the 4th generation iPhone, which could be rolled out in a matter of weeks. But Apple is obviously gearing up for the future and endeavoring to delve deep into the heart - pun intended - of biometric data and its use in their revolutionary smartphone.

    Image via Patently Apple
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