Apple Inc. received a new patent on September 21, 2010. So what is so special about this patent over the numerous other patents Apple has sought? Apple’s new patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,800,592) covers “handheld device” technology that recognizes your identity just by the way you hold the device and then personalizes the device settings based on your associated user profile. You might compare it with user login accounts on a desktop. But instead of selecting the user profile with a mouse and then typing in a password, you just pick up the handheld device, which could then automatically configure the handheld device to the settings associated with a pixilated image of your hand. The pixilated hand image used for user recognition really puts this technology in the realm of biometrics. In other words, Apple is using biometrics for the more practical application of determining user settings – beyond the less practical application of biometrics for high level security. Way to go Apple! (A few figures from the touch recognition patent can be viewed below.)

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