Apple Patents Image Identification iDevice Unlocking

For Apple, security was and will always be among the top priorities, and that starts the moment you slide to unlock the device. And as the recently granted patent shows, Apple is indeed working on image identification to properly recognize authorized users.

As Patently Apple reports, the patented system would present a user with photographs from their iPhoto or iCloud collections, and required them to identify one or more objects depicted in the image.

It’s interesting how the authentication process works: Your device displays at least one image (or more, if you want to tighten this security layer) from the user’s library. In order to grant access to the device, the user (you) will need to provide authentication data with the image.

Just a quick example: The iDevice displays an image of a person from your iPhoto library, along with a list of names. To unlock the device, you’ll need to identify the person by selecting the correct answer.

As you may imagine, this image-based unlock method is more convenient than having to remember a passcode. However, I think this also means you will need to tag each image in your iPhoto or Photo library, or at least those included in the authentication process.

If the system uses objects instead of people, the patent goes on to describe how the process can offer a unique authentication method: The Eiffel Tower, for instance, can be associated with the phrase, “The Big Stick”, providing a personalized passphrase.

What do you think of this method? Is this something you’d like to have on your iDevice?

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