Apple Working on Camera-Based Handshaking System For Sharing Data

By , Dec 1, 2011

Patent applications aren’t always a sign that something is definitely going to make its way to market, but they can often be a good indication of the kinds of things companies are looking at adding to products.

That said, we have another patent application from the boffins at Apple, and this time it appears to be a new way of sending and receiving data between two devices. The system will use the devices’ cameras as a way of establishing a secure connection…

According to those eagle-eyed folks at Patently Apple, the device’s camera could be used to recognize distinguishing markings or an on-screen image in order to create the connection.

“For example, each device can display a seed to be identified from an image taken by the other device. Using the extracted keys or seeds, each device can generate, using a same process, an identical digital handshake key. The digital handshake key can then be used to define a secure communications path between the two devices and share information securely.”

The situations in which something like this could be used are quite obvious: social networking, gaming, or even retail.

More interestingly, Apple also mentions users being able to log into devices, such as Macs, by using the iPhone. Presumably, the user would hold their iPhone, iPad, or other device up to a Mac’s FaceTime camera as a way of authenticating themselves.

Think of it as facial recognition without your face. It’s basically a digital handshake.

Would you like to see this kind of technology make it to market, or are passwords and PINs enough for you?

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  • http://twitter.com/murdoc2k Alex

    I don’t think the idea of facing the iPhone’s front camer and the Macy’s FaceTime camera makes sense.

    The idea is cool but it should be the rear camera of the iPhone. Otherwise it’s hard for the user to know if he has aligned the 2 cameras properly.

    A more conventional method would be to embed NFC into both MacBook and iPhone. The chips are small and much more battery efficient than the previous gen. It shouldnt take too much space or battery and it will work much better than the proposed system.

  • http://tciitb.com The Bagger

    the only thing that i see useful there is a way to share a key without others intercepting like wans… but if is THAT important you should just use a cable lol