Apple's 'wand remote' could read fingerprints to identify viewers

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Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) may be developing a "wand" remote control containing fingerprint sensors that could be used to authenticate viewers and deliver personalized content, according to a patent application obtained by FierceCable.

The wand remote may be used to navigate programming from the Apple TV Internet video set-top, according to the patent application, which was published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The wand could also be used to navigate content from other media devices, including content delivered via coaxial cable, according to the patent application.

"In response to detecting a thumbprint or fingerprint, wand or the electronic device may compare the detected print with a library of known prints to authenticate or log-in the user associated with the print. In response to identifying the user, the electronic device may load content specific to the identified user (e.g., a user profile, or access to the user's recordings), or provide the user with access to restricted content (e.g., content restricted by parental control options)," Apple states in the patent application. 

The wand remote would allow viewers to control an on-screen cursor to navigate video, similar to the MotionEngine technology that has been developed by Hillcrest Labs.

Apple first filed patent applications involving a wand remote in 2009. Its latest patent application involving the wand remote was filed on Dec. 24, 2012. The application is titled "scroll bar with video region in a media system" and details how the wand remote could be used to navigate a scroll bar on a video display.

Officials at Apple didn't respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Source: Apple and USPTO

For more:
- see the patent application

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