PatentMonkey: Biometric Cell Phone Developments


If Motorola or AT&T’s recent patents show, biometric controls are coming for cell phones. AT&T envisions a means to unlock your phone with your voice while Moto has begun developing a means to use a cell phone to deliver a shocking messages to your body on command.

Details on each after the jump…


AT&T/Cingular Biometric Authentication of a Wireless Device User

In 2004, AT&T identified that while security and controls are developing for phones in non-verbal technologies (data entry via keys), that a means of developing security access via voice signals would be just as beneficial. To that end, AT&T’s patent identifies unlocking a cell phone where a “voice selection is analyzed to determine a corresponding selection ID, and a voice print is retrieved from the storage location corresponding to the selection ID and to an ID of the wireless telephone.”

While I’ve claimed that multi-touch is mostly a tertiary feature, Apple and AT&T have the opportunity to use voice controls in innovative ways like this technology today with little more than a firmware update.

Now, for a further out of the box idea…

Motorola Method for Stimulating One or More Areas on a Wearer

Yeah, no lie. Moto has patented a concept to deliver an electric shock to the skin. Read claim 1:

1. An apparatus for stimulating areas of a body comprising:
a wireless communication device that alerts a user of an incoming message through a user interface;
at least one set of conductors coupled to the wireless device, the conductors including a first conductor and a second conductor that are arranged so as to contact an epidermal area of a body of a wearer of the apparatus;
and a power source for creating an electric potential between the first conductor and the second conductor under control of the wireless communication device, wherein the electric potential induces a current flow between the first conductor and the second conductor and the current travels through the epidermal area of the body of the wearer of the apparatus.

Epidermis (Wikipedia) – the outermost layer of the skin. It forms the waterproof, protective wrap over the body’s surface…

Why? This invention relates in general to electrically stimulating areas of the body, and more particularly, to temporarily stimulating areas of the body including muscles for silent notification of an event and/or for therapeutic treatment.

So, could cell phones move from ‘vibrate’ to ‘shock’? Not so sure I’m a fan, although it make for a great SNL skit.

Think either of these have any traction?