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Android lock-screen patent: Gesture and voice unlock en route?

Lockscreen patents have been the bain of Android manufacturer’s lives of late thanks to Apple, however a new patent from Google looks to employ a lock-screen that manages to dodge Apple’s patents and stay simple and functional in the process.

Patently Apple has revealed a number of lock screens patented by Google giving them multiple unlock methods to develop. The one that appears the most likely is a circular lockscreen with shortcuts on board. This is the most akin to that currently found on Android 4.0 with multiple shortcuts that can be opened by dragging out of the circle’s centre towards the icon.

What’s particularly interesting is the inclusion of voice input unlocking. If the power button is pressed for example, the microphone could potentially pick up a voice unlock command if your hands are too tied up to swipe.

Another unlock system appears to contain a horizontally scrolling bar at the top of the screen. Icons can be dragged down to an unlock portion of the display to open into them, or the portion can be pressed in isolation in order to just unlock the phone.

Whether we see this on a later version of ICS or Jelly Bean remains to be seen, but it’s clear that most OEMs will want this to land as soon as possible in a bid to dodge the mighty Apple and its legal bite.


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