In a hint of things to come, more patents submitted by Apple just a few months ago show advances in future security designs for iPhones and notebook computers. The new authentication methods include several biometric technologies that would verify the identity of a user without any additional input from the owner of the device.
Examples would use cameras and software for facial recognition or allow a touch screen to identify a fingerprint. These methods could authenticate a user and protect private information without the current delay required when entering a passcode.
Apple has also envisioned systems that would identify a user based on retinal patterns, the shape of their ears, or the sound of the user's voice. Other methods described in the patent application would have the user touch a sequence of shapes or gesture on the device in a particular pattern to unlock.
Although it sounds far-fetched, with further advances in mobile hardware even Apple's suggestion that DNA could be analyzed to authenticate may not be too far off. Will my iPhone 6.0 5G Pro need a blood sample before I can make a phone call?The patent application is titled 'Embedded Authentication Systems in an Electronic Device' and was submitted on September 9, 2008.