Apple could be about to ditch the passcode unlocking mechanism in favour of a new image recognition tool, according to a patent filing made last week.
The proposed "Image-based Authentication System" would show the image of a random contact on the homescreen and ask users to identify his or her name from a list of possibilities.
If the user identifies the image (or images) correctly, then they will be granted access to the device.
Article continues below
Break from tradition
Traditionally, Apple has employed the 4-digit passcode as a method of unlocking iOS devices, while user-selected passwords grant access to Mac computers.
However, Apple has been actively brainstorming for an alternative, with a range of patent filings in the last couple of years.
Via Patently Apple