Microsoft is firmly in the audio hardware market these days, first with the recently refreshed Surface Headphones and then with this year's Surface Earbuds. It seems Microsoft wants to extend its range and integrate more technology into future models.
A recently discovered Microsoft patent suggests the company wants to bake in a fingerprint sensor on a future Surface Headphones release. In some ways, this is a logical step. Headphones are increasingly coming with interaction features such as swipe and touch gestures.
Looking at the details, it looks like Microsoft wants to the fingerprint sensor to act as a way of controlling the headphones and connecting them. For example, users could read their prints to connect the Surface Headphones to a PC. Furthermore, a scan could allow secure log-in to music applications and other accounts.
It's worth remembering headphones are used for more than just listening to that awesome playlist you have on Spotify. Microsoft wants Surface products to appeal to businesses as much as consumers.
A fingerprint reader would allow the wearer to make their calls, voice messages, and virtual assistant interactions private. We have already seen how Microsoft wants to extend audio hardware to enterprise. For example, the existing Surface Headphones have Office integration so its not much of a stretch to see a fingerprint reader in the works.
However, it's worth remembering this remains a patent. As always, there's a chance this never sees the light of day. That said, it reads like a feature we could easily see Microsoft including on future devices.