Apple patent hints at biometric authentication for the Apple Watch

While the iPhone has evolved to include different biometric authentication methods, including fingerprint sensors and facial recognition, Apple Watch users have been a little left out. A new patent from Apple, however, suggests that may change in the near future.

The patent essentially describes the use of biometric sensors on the watch that can look at the wearer’s wrist skin texture pattern. In other words, using “biometric sensing pixels,” the device can look at the pattern of your skin. This would allow users to have their watches automatically unlock when they put on the device.

The system may actually incorporate a number of biometric sensing pixels, rather than just one. What that means is that if Apple did pursue this, it may incorporate sensors on the wristband as well as on the body of the watch itself. A number of sensors could be included in these skin texture systems, including infrared sensors, electric field sensors, and more — all used for biometric authentication.

The variety of sensors may be used to authenticate a user’s identity in different ways. Not only could the sensor look at a user’s skin texture, but it could also track electric fields and other elements for use. The infrared sensor could also be used to distinguish things like hair from the texture of the actual skin, which could help ensure a more accurate reading.

Of course, just because Apple has filed for a patent for this tech, it doesn’t mean we’ll see it incorporated in a real product any time soon. It’s a little hard for us to imagine Apple incorporating sensors and other tech into watch bands at this point, especially considering the fact that there’s quite a large ecosystem of third-party watch bands. Instead, if Apple does incorporate the tech, it’s likely it will try to figure out a way to solely use sensors built into the watch body.

Apple is likely already working on a follow-up to the much-loved Apple Watch Series 4, which we expect to be released around September 2019. Considering the Apple Watch Series 4 offered a pretty significant design update, we expect the Series 5 to be a minor upgrade, but it could still have some cool extra features.

Mobile

Amazon cuts prices on Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 3 smartwatches

In the market for a new smartwatch? The Apple Watch is the best one, and right now it's a little more affordable than it usually is. The Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 3 are both available at discounted prices straight from…
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for April 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 smartwatches get big price cuts

The Apple Watch Series 3 and Samsung Gear S3 are at some of the lowest prices we've seen since so far this year. With discounts from Amazon and Walmart, now is a great time to find spring savings on wearables.
Deals

Apple iPads and iPad Pros get price cuts up to $150 on Amazon

In the market for a new iPad? Now might be the time to buy -- Amazon has discounted a range of iPad models, including the 10.5-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, plus the standard iPad.
Wearables

Army uses modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 for ‘real-life game of Call of Duty’

The U.S. Army gave CNBC an exclusive look at its modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, provides various functions for training and combat.
Wearables

Now is the time to pick up and wear a discounted TicWatch smartwatch

Mobvoi is running a promotion on two of its desirable smartwatches, the TicWatch C2 and the TicWatch Pro, where you can get 20-percent off the usual price. This brings our favorite, the C2, down to just $160.
Wearables

The ultimate golf watch isn’t a smartwatch. It’s Hublot’s Big Bang Unico Golf

Forget golf smartwatches, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf is the ultimate timepiece to wear out on the links. It's the world's first mechanical golf watch, and will keep score for you throughout the game.
Wearables

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch: Is more expensive better?

Samsung has finally launched its latest smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. The device is aimed at sporty people and is clearly well-designed. But is the new device better than Samsung's flagship watch?
Deals

Smartwatch deal: The Apple Watch Series 3 just dropped to $199

Now’s a perfect time to grab the last-gen (but still awesome) Apple Watch Series 3. It's a great wearable for those looking to hop into the world of smartwatches, and this limited-time deal makes the Series 3 even more attractive.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 3, Fitbit Charge 2 see price cuts from Walmart and B&H

Save around $50 on the Fitbit Charge 2 from Amazon and more than $100 on the Apple Watch Series 3 at B&H Photo Video and Walmart. These may be slightly older models, but they're still excellent fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Health & Fitness

From the office to the gym, these are the best smartwatches for fitness

The line between smartwatch and fitness tracker continues to blur. To help narrow the field of the best fitness watches, we sifted through what's available and curated a list of devices worthy of a spot on your wrist.
Product Review

This $295 smartwatch has the Armani name, but not the looks

The Armani Exchange AX Connected smartwatch does everything right. It has strong technical features, a good design, and isn’t over-priced. But is subtle brand name appeal enough to recommend it?
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!