Canon filed a patent over an "electronic apparatus having finger authenticating function," and they are thinking beyond security functionality.
The patent, filed on July 6, 2017 and published on January 11, 2018, focuses on the use of a fingerprint sensor on a camera body or lens.
While one of the specified uses is the authentication to use the equipment, it also talks about the identification of different users and their fingers. Every registered user would be able to tie the fingerprints of their individual fingers to specific camera functions and profiles.
This patent could help make photographers feel safer regarding to their gear being stolen, make camera controls more convenient, and might also open up new possibilities for shared camera use in the future. Self-service camera booths, timed shooting rates, and strongly personalized insurance plans are just a few ideas.
It is worth mentioning that Canon does not limit itself to using the sensor on cameras. The patent also talks about the use in cars in which a user would be identified through their phone and could then use their individual fingerprints to control navigation, music, and other functions.
While a patent filing is not a surefire way to forecast Canon's plans, it certainly suggests a direction.