Soon you won’t even need to do anything to have your smartwatch identify you if a recently published Samsung patent ever makes it into one of the company’s products. The patent is for a sensor on the bottom of a smartwatch that takes pictures of its user’s vein structure and unique characteristics, and then compares them to images that it’s taken before. Comparing the images allows the smartwatch to determine if the person wearing the smartwatch is its owner.
A newly published Samsung patent describes a wrist-wearable sensor that reads the wearer’s veins. No, not to tell their fortune, but to establish their identity. The sensor takes a picture of the user’s vein structure and characteristics, then compares it to a vein image in its memory that it knows belongs to the user. The sensor might also detect the user’s pulse rate, which is also unique from person to person. According to the patent illustrations, the camera sensor (and two light sources on either side of it) might be mounted on the forward edge of a smartwatch. It might then scan an area on the back of the user’s hand to record the structure of the veins. Once positive identification is established, the patent says, the device could display what it knows to be the user’s personal music playlists, contact lists, and ringtones after it recognizes who’s wearing the device. But that’s not very useful since wearables have only one wearer (people don’t normally share smartwatches); the device could just store one set of user preferences.