Microsoft's current lock screens for Windows 10 are simply an authentication barrier. That, or course, is their primary function, but the company wants to add more features. To that end, Microsoft researchers created a patent application that would make the lock screen more useable.
At the moment, the lock screen is a very specific thing in Windows 10. The screen currently authenticates a user to be able to access a PC.
Microsoft's new patent filing seeks to add more functionality without having to worry about privacy and security. This would bring more actionable and personal information from the OS to the lock screen.
The patent is filed under “SELECTIVELY PROVIDING PERSONAL INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO FUNCTIONALITY ON LOCK SCREEN BASED ON BIOMETRIC USER AUTHENTICATION”.
Microsoft's method uses biometric data to decide if the user is authorized for the machine. If the PC thinks the user is cleared for specific information, it will be displayed on the lock screen. The system could even display levels of information based on the clearance of the user.
The clear intention here is to make the screen an extension of the desktop. At least, to make it a desktop substitute. Users can see information and notifications without opening the machine. If there is information that needs an action, the user can authenticate to access the OS proper.
Of course, this general kind of idea is evident on smartphones. However, mobile handsets do no attempt to identify the user. Anybody can open the lock screen and see any information it has available. Microsoft's method would add the security and privacy buffer that mobile lock screens do not.
This is an interesting patent and you can check it out at the source.