Authentication is a massive part of the iPhone experience. Over the last few years, we've moved from passcodes, to Touch ID, and now Face ID. That means that security is now based on unique biometric indicators, which should make your data even safer.
Now, that same technology could be coming to the MacBook range. It's been rumoured for a while, but a patent was recently filed by the company which suggests it is back in the frame for future releases.
It's not just as simple as taking the module from the iPhone and slapping it into a Mac chassis, though. As the patent details, users undertake more complex tasks on a computer, and storing the sensitive biometric data alongside that complex data could pose a potential security risk.
The patent also recognises the need to maintain slim proportions. In order to achieve this, their design utilises "a light pattern recognition module" which emits a predetermined light pattern like infrared and features another layer which can recognise the reflection from that pattern of light.
The application also suggests that it will be housed in the notch. That's not really surprising, though it could point to a little more longevity for that particular feature – don't expect a Mac Dynamic Island anytime soon.
So, when are we likely to see it on devices? Well, not anytime soon. As ever, while the technology has appeared on a patent, it's not guaranteed to appear on a device in the near future – or ever, in fact. See, while big companies like Apple patent a lot of technology, not all of it will make it into the consumer sphere.
With this one, though, I think it will. It's not as outlandish as some of the other patents which have made news in recent months, and would make a lot more sense in the context of their current product range.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see it in the relatively near future. Assuming their development team don't run into any major hurdles with the design and manufacture of the part, it would be a decent upgrade to add to any Mac in the line.
We'll have to wait and see what the future holds. In the meantime, users looking for new things to look forward to on Macs can sink their teeth into details of the M3 chip range. Those are expected to start cropping up from later this year.