Apple has been applying for a lot of authentication system patents lately. Patently Apple points out that, within the past year, the US Patent & Trade Office published three different patents; a facial recognition invention, a two-step slide-to-unlock invention and a basic fingerprint scanning process. On February 7, the USPTA published a patent from Apple regarding image-based authentication. No one knows which new security measures will be implemented in future iOS devices, but at least one of them will be the next generation of authentication software.
I have a friend who likes to sneak into people’s computing devices and leave funny pictures, change Wi-Fi names, and all manner of technological pranks. He is a big fan of “figuring out” someone’s password. Apple’s image-based authentication process would eliminate my prankster friend’s ability to download pictures of cocaine-snorting bears onto my iPad, or change my Wi-Fi name to “Bomb Maker.”
Patently Apple reports that the patent, aptly named “Image-Based Authentication,” refers to a process in which the user would choose an object, most likely a face, and a second image that is stored on the device. The device would have to be able to identify the object and match it to the stored image in order for the user to gain access to the device.
The same patent includes a similar authentication process in which the user must choose the correct image from a group.
This type of patent would be useful for users who want to keep their information private, but don’t want to try to remember a new series of numbers every time their friend figures out their password.