To unlock an iPhone, you used your pin code and then subsequently your fingerprint through the TouchID, but now Apple thinks using your voice as password would be way cooler.
The US Patent Office has released a series of patents assigned to Apple inc, and one of them details a way of identifying yourself and gaining access to a secure part of An apple device’s hardware and software using voice recognition. The patent titled; Device access using voice authentication with US patent number — 9,262,612 was filed 5 years ago in march 2011. The patent was published on Febrauary 16, 2016 and claims in part;
“A method comprising: while a device is in a locked state: receiving a speech input at the device, the speech input including a command associated with a restricted feature of the device; authenticating, using the speech input, whether the speech input is spoken by an authorized user of the device, wherein the authenticating includes comparing the speech input to a previously generated voiceprint; in response to authenticating that the speech input is spoken by an authorized user of the device, executing the command identified in the speech input to invoke the restricted feature of the device; and in response to not authenticating that the speech input is spoken by an authorized user of the device, forgo executing the command identified in the speech input to invoke the restricted feature of the device; where the method is performed by one or more processors of the device.”
Apple’s TouchID and fingerprint security feature has made unlocking devices faster than relying on traditional PIN code or passwords. This has made fingerprint unlocking much more prevalent, and the speed of recognition means that there is less friction in applying security to a smartphone. Introducing voice authentication for device access particularly in the way that Apple’s patent document envisages will not only provide more device security but a more speedy ‘secure access mechanism’. Currently, saying ‘Hey Siri!’ can unlock an Apple device and users can subsequently give permission for some functions to happen
before a PIN code or fingerprint (TouchID) verification is required. A VoiceID recognition system would eliminate the need for such lengthy requirement. A single voice print (or pattern) would be able to act as a voice command to open an application and also as a voice sample to authenticate the user for a secure access. That speeds up the process to unlock the device and creates more utility through a functional process.
Though the iPhone 7 is set for a November release, it could very much come spotting the voice authentication technology, it makes sense and is highly likely. However, it remains to be known whether the tech can be used on existing iPhone hardwares or would require new hardware —a dedicated electrical pathways on the circuit. Nonetheless, Apple’s TouchID hardware was introduced on the iphone 5S, so if the voice authentication doesn’t come in the iPhone 7, its plausible to expect to see “VoiceID” hardware as one of the big changes that the iPhone 7S will launch with in late 2017. Though Apple patents quite a number of tech ideas, most of them never hits the production lines. Nonetheless, it very likely to see Apple’s latest granted patent implemented in its devices in the not so distant future.