Smartphone makers have come up with a variety of methods for unlocking phones such as fingerprint scanning, drawing a specific shape on the screen, or simply entering the trusty passcode. But Amazon has come up with a new way of unlocking a smartphone. The company was recently awarded a patent on technology for unlocking a smartphone by scanning the shape of the user’s ear. Apparently ears, like fingerprints and irises, can be used as unique identifiers. So the owner of a smartphone would be able to scan his or her ear and then unlock the phone by holding it up to the side of their face.
It seems as though this technology would be a bit awkward to use for unlocking your phone every time you want to use an app, so it seems unlikely that this would ever be the primary means for unlocking a phone. But it could be useful as a secondary means of identification, especially if you don’t want other people answering your phone. Like many patented technologies, it’s unclear whether Amazon will ever incorporate this feature into smartphones, so we’ll have to just wait and see.
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