Apple was just granted a patent for technology that could lead to a fancy new biometric unlocking mechanism on future Apple products. The technology could also be used to implement new security features for ecommerce. The patent comes just a few months after Apple bought security technology company AuthenTec for $356 million over the summer.
According to Patently Apple, the patent calls for a hidden biomentric scanner that can hide behind a screen on your iPhone, iPad, etc. As described, the sensor could suddenly become visible when active or remain invisible. In one application, the sensor could be used as a fingerprint reader to add a second step of authentication during slide-to-unlock. It could also be used to recognize your face or eye for added security when you're completing purchases. Neither of these applications is especially new—what's interesting is Apple's seamless integration whereby the technology is hidden from you altogether. [Patently Apple via 9to5Mac]