Apple Watch patent points to Touch ID – but don’t get your hopes up

Upcoming Apple Watch models such as the Apple Watch 8 and the rumored Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition could have bigger screens, body temperature sensors and more, but one thing we’re not currently expecting is a fingerprint sensor. However, there’s some evidence to suggest future models might include this feature.

Patently Apple (opens in new tab) has spotted that Apple was recently granted a patent (opens in new tab) for such a sensor. Specifically, the patent details a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the side button of the Apple Watch.

This button is currently used for – among other things – Apple Pay, so building a fingerprint sensor into it could make sense, as it could securely and seamlessly verify your identity without adding any extra steps to the Apple Pay process.

Diagrams from an Apple Watch patent showing a fingerprint sensor

(Image credit: Patently Apple / USPTO)

The patent highlights all the typical fingerprint sensor applications as possible use cases, including unlocking a device, identifying the user, and authorizing transactions or the downloading of apps.

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