In the future, Apple may be jumping onto the biometrics bandwagon in a big way. According to Patently Apple, the company was granted a patent this week on a new two-step unlock screen feature.

Using either fingerprint or face and eye recognition, one step could be added to the familiar unlock screen process. Users would be required to either place their finger on a sensor or look at a certain point on the screen for identification.

But the feature would be used for more than just the unlock screen. According to the patent, it could be used to verify identity for e-commerce transactions directly from an iOS device.

Apple recently acquired mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million. The company focuses on making special chips for fingerprint recognition and NFC capabilities.

And another patent filed by Apple shows a future iPhone carrying case made from a combination of fabric and polymer-based films. Apple designed its own new way of printing since it believes the current process for stamping fabric items lacks accuracy:

The proposed fabric carrying case is designed for an electronic device such as the iPhone as noted below in patent FIG. 1 may be constructed with a fabric base layer that incorporates a plurality of thick films coupled to the fabric base. Regions of the top thick film may be selectively etched through to expose an underlying film. The selectively etched regions may be arranged for marking of textual or graphical indicia on the fabric carrying case for the portable device.

A future iPhone carrying case?

A future iPhone carrying case?

According to the site, the proposed process could provide for a higher quality appearance of curved or flat surfaces.

While the patent sounds interesting, I do wonder how much better the case would actually look compared to similiar offerings from other companies?

Source: Patently Apple