You're familiar with Touch ID. It's the biometric security method by which iPhone users can unlock their iPhones. It requires the user to place his her finger on the home button, at which point the home button verifies that the fingerprint matches the one recorded when the phone was setup. One would think that Touch ID would be something brought to the Apple Watch, but a new patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this week is calling for Heart Rate ID, a way to use the Apple Watch wearer's heart rate to identify the individual wearing the device.
Apple's published patent, titled "User identification system based on plethysmography," would allow two lights ("first and second light information") with the stored gesture to determine if the individual wearing the device is the one to whom the device belongs. This would allow Apple Watch wearers to lock their smartwatches so as to prevent unwarranted and unauthorized access to them.
Many are saying that this Apple patent refers to the Apple Watch, but the patent itself doesn't mention the Apple Watch, specifically. What would be interesting to see is Heart Rate ID be used for the new heart rate monitoring device that Apple may have in the works for 2017. With a fitness band, heart rate identification would be ideal -- since a number of fitness bands have heart rate monitors. Apple is also looking to get rid of its home button for next year's iPhone 8, and bringing a different way of user identification on the Apple Watch would be an excellent way to keep the device thin and light while still baking in user security.
We'll keep our eyes and ears open for more information on Heart Rate ID, but for now, just know that Apple is looking to bring biometric security to wearables for the Apple Watch 3 and possibly fitness bands.