A new patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals Apple’s plans to add another biometrics method for user authentication on the Apple Watch.

A patent describing the use of a sensor to scan the surface of an Apple Watch user’s palm for purposes of user authentication was published by the USPTO very recently, Patently Apple reported. The patent is aptly titled, “Electronic Device Including Palm Biometric Sensor Layer And Related Methods.”

The patent described the device with the advanced palm reader has having a display that has light transmissive portions and non-transmissive portions. The device might also have a palm biometric sensor layer beneath the display layer. This sensor is configured to scan an image of the user’s palm, when it is positioned above the display layer, using light.

The palm biometric sensor will be able to read the image of the user’s palm surface based on the light reflected from the user’s palm, passing through the light transmissive portions of the display. A controller will then capture the image data, determine a surface distortion of the user’s palm based on the image data, and use the image data and surface distortion to perform biometric authentication.

The patent said that the device can also include an infrared light source. The controller can be configured to read palm vein data from the image data resulting from the infrared light source. The controller can then be programmed to perform biometric authentication by comparing the captured palm vein data to stored palm vein data.

The device may also include a flood light source operable at a wavelength between 450 nm to 560 nm. The controller can also be configured to determine palm crease data based on the image data resulting from the flood light source. The controller can then perform biometric authentication by comparing captured palm crease data to stored palm crease data.

While the patent showed that the palm biometric sensor can be equipped in any device such as an iPhone, iPad, MacBook or any other, images reveal that the technology will be particularly useful to those who own an Apple Watch.

The new technology is seen to help Apple Watch users gain access to their Apple wearables simply by hovering their hands above the face of their Apple Watches. While the new tech isn’t seen to make any predictions about the future, it can be expected to help people know the time displayed on future Apple Watch models.

Apple Watch wash Pictured: An Apple Watch is displayed in front of a new USD 1,699 Whirlpool All-In-One Washer and Dryer at the Whirlpool booth during CES 2018 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on January 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller