Future Apple Watches could come with a fingerprint sensor, according to a patent

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Apple is notoriously slow when it comes to introducing everyday features into its products. The general rule is that if something was present on an Android flagship 3 generations ago, you can expect it to be on the iPhone next year.

However, there is one feature that is somewhat conspicuously missing from most modern wearables. Namely a form of biometric sensor. With the speed at which they are redefining the way we interact with technology, it’s almost strange that no one has tried to put a fingerprint scanner on a smartwatch.

Admittedly, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Manufacturers have toyed with the idea of ​​implementing fingerprint scanners, but none have done so with great success. This is exactly why one of Apple’s latest patents is turning heads.

According to information posted on Patently AppleApple has successfully secured a patent for a fingerprint scanner on a future generation of the Apple Watch. Considering that Apple is usually more fond of refining new features than pioneering them, it makes sense why this patent stands out.

The fingerprint scanner, based on the images from the official patent, will sit next to the crown of the device. The positioning isn’t entirely surprising given the form factor limitations, but this positioning raises at least two questions.

First, since fingerprint scanners are typically integrated into a dedicated button, why would Apple add a second parallel button? It would have made much more sense to place the fingerprint scanner in the crown. The only logical explanation is that future Apple Watches could come with a second dedicated button.

However, the second question is much easier to answer. Why isn’t Apple experimenting with an under-display fingerprint scanner? Samsung has been doing it for years, and any reliability issues with the newer technology are offset by the fact that a smartwatch will never be a user’s primary device.

Therefore, any security vulnerabilities are limited. But Apple is Apple, and it would never put anything that hasn’t been tried and tested on any of its products.

It should be noted that hundreds of patents are filed every day and only a select few see the light of day. Apple could eventually decide never to implement a fingerprint scanner in the Apple Watch. Or it can be done in a completely different way. Or maybe, just maybe, it could be done in the manner shown in this patent.

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