Are Fingerprint Scanning And Retinal Identification The Future Of TV Remotes?

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What will TV remotes of the future look like? If pending Apple patents are any indication, expect TV remotes with “sensors [that] range from fingerprint scanners and cameras for facial recognition to retinal scanners and algorithms for deciphering voice prints,” Apple Insider writes. Prototypes of future Apple TV remotes would also be compatible with iPhones in addition to televisions.

While scanning fingerprints to turn on TVs may seem a bit overkill, such biometrics are not intended to be utilized as safety features. Rather, Apple plans to use the technology to stow and retrieve user preferences. The sensor-based devices will store “system settings like favorite channels, brightness and contrast, volume controls, and others” and “might also be used to aid in content discovery and per-user purchasing,” Apple Insider continues.

The technology is also likely to be used to help screen adult programming from young viewers.

Of course, there is some question as to whether the new technology will be a welcome change — or an inconvenient one. As it stands, more than half of Americans have over five devices in the living room that require a remote to operate. One in five actually don’t use some of the electronic devices in their homes because they cannot find the remote. Adding retinal and fingerprint scans into the mix may ultimately make things even more bothersome and complicated.

Adding retinal and fingerprint scans into the mix may ultimately make things even more bothersome and complicated.
Adding retinal and fingerprint scans into the mix may ultimately make things even more bothersome and complicated.

There is potential with some careful planning, however. Touchscreen remotes, universal remotes, and relatively straightforward remotes are all popular. If Apple and other manufacturers produce biometrics remotes that simplify matters — make it possible to operate multiple devices, easily switch between users, and use default or “guest” settings when desired, it could work.

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