Apple Plans MacBook Logins With Invisible Ink on iPhones and iPads
As a sunset frames the Golden Gate Bridge, a young man sits down in front of a lone MacBook Air, flashes the back of his iPhone at the camera and gains access to his password protected files.
The next James Bond movie with Apple product placement? Nope, it’s how you might log into a future MacBook Air or Macbook Pro using invisible ink printed on the back of your iPhone or under the glass bezel on the front.
Patently Apple reveals a new Apple patent that was granted for using invisible ink, next generation cameras and on display barcodes to initiate a secure digital handshake between your iPhone and Apple computer.
The new system would require new cameras on iOS and Mac devices that could read optical coatings and invisible ink. Apple would embed a special code in this ink or coating that the cameras could recognize to initiate a login. Patently Apple points out that this secret code could be hidden in the large bezel of the iPad.
The big deal here is that Apple wants to put the login information in invisible ink so that it doesn’t detract from the look of the device. This could also be placed on the iPhone via a film or a case, which is important for case loving iPhone users. There’s also the ability to pull up a barcode or other image on your device’s screen to login, which is handy.
In addition to logging into your Apple devices, the patent reveals plans to use this same method to provide a secure digital handshake in retail environments and provide some type of connection to social networking sites.
If you don’t want to wait for this patent, you can use your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection to lock and unlock your Mac when you are in range. If you have an HP Business notebook, you can also use your iPhone or Android Bluetooth connection to initiate a login. This isn’t te same as Apple’s patent, but a nice trick for many users.
I think that using our phones, or smartwatches, to login to our notebooks and computers is an awesome idea, and I can’t wait for it to reach us in an easy to use manner.