Amazon has just patented a system that will allow users to unlock their smartphone by recognising the shape of their ear, when they raise the device near the face to answer a call.
The patent describes the use of a photo of a user’s ear, which is snapped by the phone’s front-facing camera.
Amazon’s awarded patent for ear recognition
Working in a similar way to matching up fingerprints from a database, the technology could help you log into your phone with having to enter a patter, passcode or fingerprint.
The ear is supposedly as unique an identifier as fingerprints, so it’s fairly safe to assume that your phone would only work with your ears.
Besides authentication, the method can also be used to dynamically alter the phone’s speaker volume by measuring the distance between the phone and a user’s ear.
In terms of today’s devices, the next version of Android, Android M, adds support to the entire operating system for fingerprint recognition. It will of course be interesting to see if Amazon’s patent finds its way into the next generation of Fire Phones as a distinguishing method of authentication.
Even though it looks like a fairly unique and reliable method of unlocking a phone, is it really more intuitive and easy to use than a fingerprint reader?
SOURCE: The Next Web.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.