Apple investigating new question-based iPhone unlock, hearing aid auto-detection

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The first filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week reveals a new unlock method that could offer personalized security. The system would require a user to accurately identify one or more objects depicted in an image.

A user could have a series of custom images selected for the unlock system, and an iPhone would randomly select one of those pictures to display when a user wishes to use the device. The user would also provide authentication data associated with the image to ensure security.

In one example, the iPhone would display a picture of a person, along with a list of names. The user would have to select the name of the person by sliding the appropriate icon across the screen to unlock the device.