A future Apple Watch could finally include Touch ID—a game-changer for security and usability. That’s according to Patently Apple, which details the patent application in a new report.
The newly-patented Touch ID system—which would be stored underneath the Apple Watch’s side button—would make the device more secure in several scenarios. These could include identifying you via your fingerprint, unlocking your devices and accessing apps, and authorising payments via Apple Pay, according to the patent.
Apple has been moving towards biometrics for a while, with Face ID featuring in its high-range iPhones and tablets. During the pandemic, many Apple fans had hoped Touch ID would return to all iPhones, to make payments easier when you are wearing a mask. That’s still not out of the question, with analysts predicting under-screen Touch ID in a future model.
As for the Apple Watch, the new patent, titled “electronic device having sealed button biometric sensing system,” describes how it will work via a “biometric button assembly” in an “opening of an enclosure of an electronic device.”
“The biometric button assembly may further include a biometric sensor for detecting the received inputs and transmitting a signal to a processor of the electronic device. The signal may correspond to a biometric characteristic, such as a fingerprint. A flexible conduit may transmit the signal to the processor.”
When will Touch ID come to the Apple Watch?
So when will Touch ID arrive on your Apple Watch? As with all Apple Patents, it sadly may never come to fruition, and it certainly won’t reach the Apple Watch Series 8. It has been mooted before and indeed, the iPhone maker has filed several patents relating to Touch ID on the Apple Watch, yet we’ve not seen the feature happen.
It’s a shame because Touch ID on the Apple Watch would give you that extra layer of security with functionality. For example, you could use Touch ID on your Apple Watch to open your MacBook, safe in the knowledge that the biometric is a secure form of authentication.
That’s not to say it won’t happen, but Apple has high standards, and the iPhone maker only likes to launch tech when it works well. Therefore don’t rule it out, just know it might take some time for Touch ID to make its way to your Apple Watch.