An electronic device may include a finger biometric sensor, a display, and a processor coupled to the finger biometric sensor and the display. The processor may be switchable between a user-interface locked mode and a user-interface unlocked mode. The processor may be capable of determining a pattern of input motions on the finger biometric sensor and displaying an image on the display corresponding to the pattern of input motions. The processor may also be capable of switching between the user-interface locked mode and the user-interface unlocked mode when the pattern of input motions matches a stored pattern representing a user unlock code.
For instance in one example, a user rotates their finger on the Touch ID sensor to input a security code on a combination lock displayed on the device. The patent notes that the user must complete the pattern of motions in order to successfully unlock the device. Another example demonstrates a user "swiping" across the Touch ID sensor to match a corresponding pattern. Both example's rely on technology created by AuthenTec, which Apple acquired back in 2012.
Apple has already evolved Touch ID into more than just a way to unlock your device. With iOS 8, developers can use Touch ID as an easier way to authenticate users. Additionally, the "Reachability" feature of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus prove the Touch ID sensor can be used for more than authentication.
There's no way to tell if this would ever become a reality, but it is interesting to see Apple exploring different ways to enhance device security through Touch ID.
Read More via Patently Apple