A new patent application has been published by Microsoft researchers which could make your lock screen more useful without compromising your privacy and security.
Microsoft notes that locks screens are accessible by anyone which limits the amount of actionable and personal information the OS can provide, and leaves users with the difficult choice sometimes of showing more or less information on the home screen and having to choose between productivity and privacy.
Microsoft’s patent “SELECTIVELY PROVIDING PERSONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO FUNCTIONALITY ON LOCK SCREEN BASED ON BIOMETRIC USER AUTHENTICATION ” would use biometric data to try to ascertain if it’s the user who has activated their device or a stranger.
Based on the confidence level of this identification the OS would display more or less sensitive information. Importantly not an exact identification need to be made which speeds the process of interacting with the lock screen, and one can imagine screen being populated with more and more information the more sure the OS becomes of your identity.
The feature would also make the lock screen a more useful desktop substitute, for sticky notes for example, as that actual Desktop surface is usually obscured by running applications and abandoned files and shortcuts and as Microsoft adds more new functionality like Cortana above the lock screen.
Of course for this feature to work the OS would need to not automatically unlock the OS if it detects a user, a welcome change I suspect for some face recognition users who prefer not to have their PC unlocked every time they go past.
The full patent can be seen here.
Would our readers welcome this change? Let us know below.