Apple seems to be planning to bring both the Touch Bar of the MacBook Pro and Mac Face ID patent of the iPhone and iPad to more devices.
Mac Face ID patent discovered
The news was discovered by Patently Apple, a website that makes it work to find unannounced products in the company’s patents. Apple’s newest patent does not bother: it is clearly investigating how Face ID can be transferred to the Mac. The Touch Bar for an external keyboard also appears in the text.
What is striking about the patent is that this is not exactly the same Face ID technology as it is now used in the iPhone and iPad Pro 2018. The text describes a new retina scanner, where the user’s eye is scanned to confirm the identity. This is different from how Face ID works on iOS, where the scanner makes a complete 3D scan of the face.
On the one hand, this could mean that Apple is simply investigating different face recognition techniques, or that this is the first indication that an improved version of Face ID is being worked on. In an earlier patent, Face ID on the Mac was also mentioned, along with a new automatic release feature, which unlocks the MacBook as soon as you open the lid and the scanner recognizes you.
Touch Bar for external keyboards
Later in the patent, we come across new references to the Touch Bar on a new version of Apple’s Magic Keyboard. This rumor has also been roaming for years, but the patent today shows that the company is still investigating its possibilities.
This would no longer make the Touch Bar exclusive to the MacBook Pro, but would also take it to every other Mac. The Touch Bar is an OLED touchscreen that replaces the function keys. This allows the buttons to adjust to the app that you are currently using. For the time being, however, it remains a patent, which makes it difficult to estimate when this product will actually be revealed.