Apple patent app details special card or ‘decoder ring’ for future Mac login

Blowout Specials ends 2/28“On February 25, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various concepts behind a newly advanced touch screen login system that uses a signet based concept that could take on many shapes – such as a specialized card or cool ring,” jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “In fact, it would act very much like a secret decoder ring was supposed to – though you won’t find it in your cereal or Cracker Jack box – hopefully, that is.”

“The signet based system could act as a form of security system and the actions could initiate when logging onto your home computer or a computer network so as to permit authorized individuals access to restricted areas of the computer or computer network, loading a user profile associated with a user’s preferred arrangement of the computer desktop and so forth,” Purcher reports. “The signet based system would or could apply to all present and future Apple touch screen based systems and the patent in fact makes it clear that that will include the iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro and also extend to public computer systems at schools, libraries, kiosks, gaming machines, restaurant reservation terminals and more.”

Purcher reports, “This could and should be a lot easier to use than keying in a sophisticated security password while making it incredibly more difficult for hackers to crack – being that the signet could include patterns and shapes unique to the individual user or institution.”

Much more, including patent app illustrations, in the full article here.


  1. This seems very similar to technology that I worked on 8-10 years ago, which uses a “smart card” (similar to the DoD CAC card) as a part of your login authentication. In fact, something like this already exists both for Mac and Windows – just put your smart card into the attached reader, and you’re logged in.

    Perhaps there’s something else in the patent application that makes this not simply a rehash of existing technology.

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