OPPO patents wearables that unlock through user vein-scanning
OPPO has secured an interesting new patent (CN110298944B) through the Chinese intellectual property office CNIPA. It describes a method of "vein unlocking" that might appear as a spec on some of its future products. However, unlike the few examples on the market already, it is destined for wearable technology.
This lesser-spotted form of biometric authentication has most often been seen on some LG flagship smartphones (back when that OEM made this class of product). Its Hand ID allowed devices like the G8 ThinQ to unlock their screens should a user hold their hand up to their front-facing camera by "reading" the veins in a user's palm.
It is not clear if OPPO's new version for wearables would work in a similar way from the description available on CNIPA's website. It is possible that the feature could work by simply strapping a fitness tracker or smartwatch to the wrist as normal, as these devices already contain a range of sensors that derive data from a user's blood vessels in any case.
On the other hand, as the patent has only been approved as of August 10, 2021, it may be quite some time before OPPO can work this new and venous security feature into a next-gen wearable. Accordingly, it may not appear before the OEM has released at least 1 more generation of its current premium smartwatch or its cheaper smart band.