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AuthenTec "Smart Sensor" appears key to Apple's urgent acquisition

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apple's urgency to gain access to AuthenTec technology, involving $27.5 million in up front payments during negotiations and culminating in a $356 million offer to acquire the entire company, appears targeted at an advanced "Smart Sensor" component that does more than just read fingerprints, but that's not all the acquisition target offered.

Apple's urgency to acquire AuthenTec was detailed in a Security and Exchange Commission filing.

However, that urgency is not explained simply in the interests of gaining access to fingerprint scanners, which have been in smartphones for years and in PCs for more than half a decade.

While the company has made acquisitions or intellectual property purchase deals simply to gain access to patents, the vast majority of Apple's recent acquisitions have been strategic deals to obtain the core technology behind what would become major marketing features of new products.

Authentec


Since 2009, Apple has only acquired a dozen other smaller companies. A quarter of these highly selective, strategic moves involved mapping companies, resulting in the new Maps features that will appear in iOS 6.

Most of Apple's other known acquisitions were also rapidly converted into key product features, from Lala (which made its way into iTunes Match) to Quattro Wireless (iAd) to Polar Rose (camera face recognition), IMSense (iPhone HDR) and Siri. The rest involved processor and chip design firms that rapidly made their way into the silicon of iOS devices.

AuthenTec's Smart Sensor

The most noteworthy public product AuthenTec has is not its run of the mill finger print scanners, but a new "Smart Sensor" that acts as a sophisticated touch pad controller.

While just 13.3mm wide by 3mm high and a scant 1.30 mm thick, the company's first Smart Sensor, announced in May just as Apple began its frantic efforts to buy the firm, packs a 500 pixel per inch, 192x8 pixel detection matrix and all the necessary finger print matching technology and security encryption to serve as a fully self contained finger recognizer.

AuthenTec notes that its "semiconductor-based sensors are based on both capacitive and radio frequency (RF) technology that detects an image of the fingerprint ridge and valley pattern beneath the surface of the skin, thus capturing sharp and clear fingerprint patterns from the live layer. This approach, which is in marked contrast with optical, thermal and other solutions that simply read the surface of the skin, gives AuthenTec sensors significant advantages in image quality and in the protective coatings that the sensor can image through."



Additionally, AuthenTec has developed "anti-spoofing technology" that "dynamically measures the properties of finger skin placed on the sensor while the finger is being scanned. This patented technology ensures that only real fingerprints are read by converting the properties of the skin into digital data which are delivered to the host computer for analysis. AuthenTec anti-spoofing technology then compares the data with expected properties to ensure fingerprint authentication."

The company notes that "because of the approach, anyone who attempts to swipe the finger of a dead person in order to access important physical or logical data would fail."

A touch pad for iOS devices

However, in addition to basic fingerprint authentication (used to authorize a purchase or unlock the screen) the Smart Sensor is also capable of a variety of other touch-based features including personalization, or "the ability to associate different functions with different fingers."



Other AuthenTech customers' devices, including the new Fujitsu Regza (above), have opted to put the Smart Sensor on the back of the phone next to its camera, but the size and shape of that particular component, labeled as the AES850 and called "the world?s smallest authentication/navigation smart sensor in a durable package," appears capable of serving as an iPhone Home button.

This could allow Apple to supercharge its iOS Home button, enabling users to initiate different tasks (such as launching specific apps, Siri or Spotlight search; call a particular favorite contact; start a specific playlist or ask for directions to get home) with different fingers.

In addition, AuthenTec's Smart Sensor can also be used to provide touch-based navigation, functioning as a "precise cursor control for text editing," with support for "360 degree mouse navigation," "optical joystick emulation," or as a "unique turbo-scroll feature for rapid browsing of long emails, contact lists or websites," according to public information released by the firm prior to its acquisition.

In addition to a touch screen, or to replace it

While Apple's iPhone and iPad already have sophisticated touch screen for navigation, the addition of Smart Sensor could enhance the number of gestures users can easily perform by combining the two, similar to how mouse users coordinate the use of buttons with movement to perform a "drag and drop" operation.

For example, a user could perform a thumb swipe before scrolling in order to scroll twice as fast, when trying to navigate through a very long list. Or alternatively, swipe a particular finger to increase the sensitivity of a jog control to accurately step through a video one frame at a time.

AuthenTec's Smart Sensor could also be used to provide sophisticated touch controls on Apple's other products, such as the iPod shuffle and iPod nano, or to provide navigation on new devices without a screen at all.

AuthenTec's other offerings

In addition to its smart scanners, AuthenTec is also a fabless chip designer with a series of security processors and co-processors designed to accelerate authentication in VPN gateway products. The company also sells a QuickSec Mobile VPN client for Android, which is used by Samsung.

The company also develops IP cores for accelerating cryptography and encryption/decryption, features Apple could add to its System on a Chip designs to simplify and enhance the performance of iOS devices in handling HDCP (HDMI content protection) or integrating hardware acceleration of disk encryption, VPN services, app and iOS platform authentication (thwarting jailbreaks).

Some of AuthenTec's technology could also be incorporated into Apple's line of AirPort base stations to facilitate encrypted connections or implement securely shared base stations where anyone could opt to share their Internet connection to any nearby iCloud subscribers, for example.

This summer, AuthenTec collaborated with Alcatel-Lucent and Portugal Telecom to deliver a cross platform, live TV and video-on-demand service, with AuthenTec supplying the DRM. Apple could employ some of these same technologies to secure live TV distribution deals through its Apple TV product.

At the same time, Apple has also quickly abandoned technologies or products that were once strategic to its acquisition targets. When Apple acquired Emagic to obtain its Logic music product software, it simply canceled the Windows version that had previous accounted for half of the firm's sales.

Similarly, when Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008, it simply discontinued its primary product, a line of advanced PowerPC based PWRficient 64-bit SoCs, despite the products' recent debut.

Most recently, after Apple acquired mobile app search engine Chomp it simply dumped all support for Android apps, hardwiring its link to download the app to its own iTunes Store.

With Apple's acquisition still awaiting approval by shareholders, AuthenTec's website still makes mention of its Android product line. At the same time, it's likely that AuthenTec has granted licenses to its products and patented technologies that Apple could not revoke even if it were interested in doing so.
post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... This could allow Apple to supercharge its iOS Home button, enabling users to initiate different tasks (such as launching specific apps, Siri or Spotlight search; call a particular favorite (sic) contact; start a specific playlist or ask for directions to get home) with different fingers. ...
For example, a user could perform a thumb swipe before scrolling in order to scroll twice as fast, when trying to navigate through a very long list. Or alternatively, swipe a particular finger to increase the sensitivity of a jog control to accurately step through a video one frame at a time. ...

 

These both sound like incredibly wild and patently ridiculous speculations and something that Apple would never do IMO.  

 

A Home button that does different things if pressed with different fingers?  Seriously?  No one sees the HUGE problems that would cause versus the very minimal gain for a small subset of users?  Gestures that do unexpected and completely different things when different users use them? Really?  

 

Dumb de dumb dumb.  

post #3 of 58
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
…a small subset of users?

 

I think the number of users with 10 fingers is pretty large. 😉


Dumb de dumb dumb.  

 

One more and you have an antacid commercial.

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post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

... wild and patently ridiculous speculations and something that Apple would never do IMO.  

Apple apparently sees something useful in their technology. Probably something that the company itself does not even see.

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post #5 of 58

If it could detect the direction a finger / thumb were moving, then it could serve as a 'joystick' in addition to being there for security etc.

 

That'd be cool - better than an on-screen controller, and an alternative to using gravity / accellerometer for game control.

post #6 of 58

Sounds awesome.  I can use a different finger to automatically dial a specific person, without flipping to the contact list.  My mother in law is definitely going to be the middle finger.

post #7 of 58

Is that first pic a white iPhone 3GS sitting on an HP laptop?

post #8 of 58
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post
Is that first pic a white iPhone 3GS sitting on an HP laptop?

 

Think you might have your brands mixed up… 

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post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I think the number of users with 10 fingers is pretty large. 😉

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple apparently sees something useful in their technology. Probably something that the company itself does not even see.

 

I guess I wasn't clear.  I think the technology is great, but I think those two particular speculations on possible uses of it by Apple Insider are terribly dumb (IMO of course).  They would only work if Apple is prepared to go the route of endless pages of settings which they basically never do.  They envision a complicated environment that would bewilder the average user and so would have to be enabled for the "small subset" of users that wanted these complications through settings.  It seems really unlikely to me.  

 

I think it far more likely that they might integrate the sensor technology into their next round of screens so that it works invisibly in the background.  The next iPhone might be aware if someone other than the owner was using it for instance and shut down.  It might throw up a small square on the screen (anywhere on the screen) and ask for your thumbprint for authentication.  It might give them the ability to differentiate between live fingers touching the screen and a non-living object.  These are all great qualities to have and I'm sure the Apple designers have already thought of these ideas and more.  

 

The anti-trust angle could be covered off by continuing to manufacture the sensors currently in use.  That way everyone has the same technology but only Apple has it integrated into the screen.  That's what I'd do anyway.  

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Is that first pic a white iPhone 3GS sitting on an HP laptop?

 

It's a Samsung copy of a white iPhone 3Gs sitting on an HP copy of a Mac PowerBook keyboard.  :-)

post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple apparently sees something useful in their technology. Probably something that the company itself does not even see.

They could be interested in using the technology to improve their touch screens. But I'm guessing the most likely thing is a really good fingerprint sensor replacing the home button in every iDevice, which will cost them almost nothing with their economies of scale, but will be hard for their competitors to match. Perhaps it will maintly be used to tell who is using a shared device, so you can have per-user preferences. Or in combination with other sensors and information to facilitate secure transactions that others can't match. Or just to keep your own private data private.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

These both sound like incredibly wild and patently ridiculous speculations and something that Apple would never do IMO.  

 

A Home button that does different things if pressed with different fingers?  Seriously?  No one sees the HUGE problems that would cause versus the very minimal gain for a small subset of users?  Gestures that do unexpected and completely different things when different users use them? Really?  

 

Dumb de dumb dumb.  

 



Only users that have spent the time to set this up would know that each finger would do something different. For the 'non-power' users, it could behave as if all fingers should do the same. That said, I don't think Apple would do this either

post #13 of 58
Quote:
The company notes that "because of the approach, anyone who attempts to swipe the finger of a dead person in order to access important physical or logical data would fail."

 

I'm intrigued.  How dead is too dead.  I bet if they were still warm it'd work...

post #14 of 58

I like the idea of logging into a MacBook with just a flick of a finger. And multi-user iPad would be great (finally!).

 

How about a virtual joystick on a AppleTV remote?

post #15 of 58
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
 

I guess I wasn't clear.  I think the technology is great, but I think those two particular speculations on possible uses of it by Apple Insider are terribly dumb (IMO of course).  They would only work if Apple is prepared to go the route of endless pages of settings which they basically never do.  They envision a complicated environment that would bewilder the average user and so would have to be enabled for the "small subset" of users that wanted these complications through settings.  It seems really unlikely to me.  

 

 

Just like the "endless pages of settings" for multitouch options in OS X?

 

I think it far more likely that they might integrate the sensor technology into their next round of screens so that it works invisibly in the background.  The next iPhone might be aware if someone other than the owner was using it for instance and shut down.  It might throw up a small square on the screen (anywhere on the screen) and ask for your thumbprint for authentication.  It might give them the ability to differentiate between live fingers touching the screen and a non-living object.  These are all great qualities to have and I'm sure the Apple designers have already thought of these ideas and more.  

 

While doing magical "integration," why not put the speaker, mic and camera "in their next round of screens" too? Perhaps because it's just as ridiculous.

 

The anti-trust angle could be covered off by continuing to manufacture the sensors currently in use.  That way everyone has the same technology but only Apple has it integrated into the screen.  That's what I'd do anyway.  

 

You mean, if you were capable of developing products? Or capable of magical instantiation of your imagination unconstrained by reality? 

post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

 

They envision a complicated environment that would bewilder the average user and so would have to be enabled for the "small subset" of users that wanted these complications through settings.  It seems really unlikely to me.  

 

 

This got me to thinking about touch typing, a rather complicated skill that was rather common for most of a century, but has recently fallen into disuse. Very few kids are learning it these days. Maybe something to replace touch typing is emerging, something that is gesture/action based rather than key/letter based. Sounds complicated at first to know all these various finger combinations, but if we can learn 26+ positions by touch, we all should be able to master them. Problem is, like the keyboard in its early years, we have not yet arrived at the gesture equivalent of the QWERTY standard. But we're slowly getting there. Pinch to zoom is pretty universal at this point.

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post #17 of 58
The company notes that "because of the approach, anyone who attempts to swipe the finger of a dead person in order to access important physical or logical data would fail."

So if I'm stuck out in a snow storm and have to call for help, will I be able to unlock my phone?

post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by webweasel View Post

 

I'm intrigued.  How dead is too dead.  I bet if they were still warm it'd work...

The pens of screenwriters are poised to include this as a plot device in upcoming crime procedurals. Maybe just rufie the guy long enough to use his finger and he wakes up and never knows the difference? The code-rape drug.

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post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjbruce View Post

So if I'm stuck out in a snow storm and have to call for help, will I be able to unlock my phone?

Same way you do now. iPhone doesn't lock out emergency calls. 

post #20 of 58

That's a cool idea, but I don't think it grounded in the reality of this technolgy, at least in it's current state. The sensor is in silicon. Making this transparent for use under/above a screen would be a drastic departure from its current design and may not even be possible. More likely this is for a home button with embedded fingerprint reader. If Apple is serious about adding payment systems (NFC, Passbook, etc.) into their phones, having biometric authentication seems pretty smart. Integrating it into the little home button square would allow them to do so with little to no change to the device asthetics or the user interaction with the device. How cool would it be when you press the home button when the phone is in a locked state and instead of "slide to lock" it just says something like "authenticating" with a finger scanning animation. No more lock screen! On an updated iPad it could be the key to user profiles. No need ot select the user, just turn the device on like you normally would and it automaticall authenticates and loads your customized home screen/apps. Then use the scanner for all Passbook interactions that involve real money. Secure smartphone transactions. No brainer. 

post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalG View Post




Only users that have spent the time to set this up would know that each finger would do something different. For the 'non-power' users, it could behave as if all fingers should do the same. That said, I don't think Apple would do this either

For some reason iOS 'power users' sounds remarkably similar to 'hard core gamers' to me.

I agree it seems unnecessary. Some of the ideas listed did seem pretty cool though.
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

 

I guess I wasn't clear.  I think the technology is great, but I think those two particular speculations on possible uses of it by Apple Insider are terribly dumb (IMO of course).  

No you were clear enough and I wasn't disagreeing, just speculating that any of the obvious or even far fetched applications for this technology are more than likely not the application Apple has in mind.

 

I guess I was not clear enough. On this forum, anytime you quote someone it is assumed that you are disagreeing with them unless otherwise noted as 'Agreed'.

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post #23 of 58

I think people are missing the idea.

Its not going to be in the home button or a seperate reader.

 

The fingerprint reader will be the *screen*.

 

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

 

Need to make a mobile payment? Just tap the pay button.  No pin required.

 

Apple doesn't buy companies for solutions that are all over the industry.  They buy companies that build the *next generation* of industry standard technology.

post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

The reason we have to swipe is that it is a deliberate action. Just touching the screen might result in a lot of unnecessary unlocking, screen power up and accidental pants pocket dialing.

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post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

 

Need to make a mobile payment? Just tap the pay button.  No pin required.

Makes me wonder if "tapping" as we presently do it will have to change. A quick tap with the tip of a finger may not be sufficient to be read. Will have to be more of a press with the entire pad of the finger, perhaps even held for a period of time.

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post #26 of 58
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
 

I guess I wasn't clear.  I think the technology is great, but I think those two particular speculations on possible uses of it by Apple Insider are terribly dumb (IMO of course).  They would only work if Apple is prepared to go the route of endless pages of settings which they basically never do.  They envision a complicated environment that would bewilder the average user and so would have to be enabled for the "small subset" of users that wanted these complications through settings.  It seems really unlikely to me.  

 

 

"Just like the "endless pages of settings" for multitouch options in OS X?"

 

I think it far more likely that they might integrate the sensor technology into their next round of screens so that it works invisibly in the background.  The next iPhone might be aware if someone other than the owner was using it for instance and shut down.  It might throw up a small square on the screen (anywhere on the screen) and ask for your thumbprint for authentication.  It might give them the ability to differentiate between live fingers touching the screen and a non-living object.  These are all great qualities to have and I'm sure the Apple designers have already thought of these ideas and more.  

 

"While doing magical "integration," why not put the speaker, mic and camera "in their next round of screens" too? Perhaps because it's just as ridiculous."

 

The anti-trust angle could be covered off by continuing to manufacture the sensors currently in use.  That way everyone has the same technology but only Apple has it integrated into the screen.  That's what I'd do anyway.  

 

"You mean, if you were capable of developing products? Or capable of magical instantiation of your imagination unconstrained by reality? "

 

I don't know what you're talking about here other than I guess you are upset.  Probably that will end up being because I inadvertently came across too harshly or something (sadly a common occurrence).  None of your comments make any sense at all.

 

It's a touch screen-based sensor technology.  The suggestion that it might be integrated seemed straightforward to me, whereas speakers and microphones are a totally different things.  

 

Apologies to those that thought the complicated AppleInsider suggestions were not dumb.  I thought they were.  Just stating my opinion.   I can't really do much about the way I commonly talk/write but please be advised that I (almost) never mean anything in a mean spirited way regardless of whether it comes across that way.  On the other hand, I am a flawed human being like the rest of you and get angry and say stupid things as often as the average person I suppose.  

post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... This could allow Apple to supercharge its iOS Home button, enabling users to initiate different tasks (such as launching specific apps, Siri or Spotlight search; call a particular favorite (sic) contact; start a specific playlist or ask for directions to get home) with different fingers. ...
For example, a user could perform a thumb swipe before scrolling in order to scroll twice as fast, when trying to navigate through a very long list. Or alternatively, swipe a particular finger to increase the sensitivity of a jog control to accurately step through a video one frame at a time. ...

 

These both sound like incredibly wild and patently ridiculous speculations and something that Apple would never do IMO.  

 

A Home button that does different things if pressed with different fingers?  Seriously?  No one sees the HUGE problems that would cause versus the very minimal gain for a small subset of users?  Gestures that do unexpected and completely different things when different users use them? Really?  

 

Dumb de dumb dumb.  

 

 

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post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

The reason we have to swipe is that it is a deliberate action. Just touching the screen might result in a lot of unnecessary unlocking, screen power up and accidental pants pocket dialing.

 

Still use swipe to unlock -- it just needs to be done (optionally) with an authorized finger or fingers.

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post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

 

Need to make a mobile payment? Just tap the pay button.  No pin required.

Makes me wonder if "tapping" as we presently do it will have to change. A quick tap with the tip of a finger may not be sufficient to be read. Will have to be more of a press with the entire pad of the finger, perhaps even held for a period of time.

 

I don't think that every touch needs to be authorized -- just things like "swipe to unlock", "buy", Login"...

 

...I can see (hear) it all now:

 

Siri:  "He's touching me!"

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post #30 of 58

>On an updated iPad it could be the key to user profiles. No need ot select the user, just turn the device on like you normally would and it automaticall authenticates and loads your customized home screen/apps.

 

I think this is one of the features the smart sensor technology will offer to iPad users- one that many enterprises have been clamoring for- True Multiuser Capability [TM®]. Combine this with... say the ability to have the front facing camera capture the user's retina print and you might have a pretty decent biometric two factor authentication scheme without having to rely on smart cards or the keyboard (for typed in passwords) to authenticate. 

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post #31 of 58

For me, fingerprint recognition would only have to solve one major problem for me for it to be very useful. I have pretty sensitive business emails on my phone so I need to lock it with a passcode, but it's a pain in the ass every time I need to open my phone to have to put in a 4 digit code just to check an email or text. If they could make it so that I can unlock my phone just by placing my finger on the screen, it would make keeping my phone locked all the time MUCH easier! I'm sure there are a lot of people in my same shoes that should really have their phones locked but choose not to because unlocking it all the damn time can be tedious.

post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The reason we have to swipe is that it is a deliberate action. Just touching the screen might result in a lot of unnecessary unlocking, screen power up and accidental pants pocket dialing.

 

Pants pocket dialing won't happen in this scenario since you will have to touch the screen with a finger, not with a random object.

post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

The fingerprint reader will be the *screen*.

 

Swipe to unlock? Nope, just click unlock with your thumb and you phone either unlocks or doesn't.

No more complex keys and passwords.

 

Need to make a mobile payment? Just tap the pay button.  No pin required.

 

And the screen would be able distinguish between different fingers. For example, a drawing app could assign different colors to different fingers. Or gestures could be finger-dependent.

 

However, I doubt it will happen in the near future. Firstly, it would require a major R&D effort to upgrade tiny fingerprint sensors into fullscreen multi-touch sensors integrated with display tech. Apple of late seems to prefer buying mature technologies and work on integrating them deeply into their products. Secondly, it would be prohibitively expensive computationally. Imagine 9.7-inch iPad sensor with 500 pixels per inch. That amounts to a 2910 x 3880 pixel stream that has to be analyzed in real-time at full resolution (otherwise, the ridges and valleys won't be visible). At present time, this is simply impossible to do in an energy-efficient manner.

 

So I think they will start with home button.


Edited by yakovlev - 8/17/12 at 1:04am
post #34 of 58
An idealized scenario might look like this:
 
1. A fingerprint sensor of a new type is built into the home button. The button looks exactly as it did before.
 
2. You don't need the lock screen and swipe-to-unlock gesture anymore. The button registers the press only if pressed by a finger; after that, device immediately displays the home screen. (The innovation being the sensor's ability to detect not just fingerprints of specific people, but human fingerprints in general.)
 
3. If you want, you are able to lock the device to your fingerprints only. All 10 fingers are scanned, so you can use any one of them without thinking.
 
4. Fingerprints are uploaded to iCloud and in fact become one of your iCloud passwords (opt-in; text passwords continue to exist for high-security scenarios). When you get a new device, you simply press the home button; your device automatically identifies you and starts downloading your preferences, apps and data.
 
 
However, this idealization seems to break down when it comes to security. The screen of your device is all stamped over with your fingerprints; with 3D printers widely available, it seems it will be easy to create artificial "stamps" from fingerprint photos. There are many other places where a potential hacker could acquire a fingerprint. It just feels fundamentally insecure, as opposed to, say, high-resolution iris scan. What do you think?

Edited by yakovlev - 8/17/12 at 1:04am
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

These both sound like incredibly wild and patently ridiculous speculations and something that Apple would never do IMO.  

 

A Home button that does different things if pressed with different fingers?  Seriously?  No one sees the HUGE problems that would cause versus the very minimal gain for a small subset of users?  Gestures that do unexpected and completely different things when different users use them? Really?  

 

Dumb de dumb dumb.  

 If the Home button was a fingerprint reader, I'd never have to enter my passcode again. And if someone else's finger pressed it, the passcode prompt would come up. That the first thing off the top of my head I could come up with for this. Maybe a specific fingerprint to auto-open the camera app as well? Honestly, you could set it up as simple or as complex as you want it.

When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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post #36 of 58
Same post provided in previous article.

Facts:







Looks like this sensor would fit just fine in the outside upper corner of the new iPhone. There is a larger and exactly the same shaped rectangle slot in the frame. Plus, glass coverings will still exist in the upper and lower part of the phone and would explain why the headphone jack went to the bottom.

As well, it seems that a lefty or righty holding the iPhone could easily swipe down an index finger to run a transaction.

****Additional notes. This sensor will most likely be a proprietary "Apple Sensor" designed with the help of AuthenTec's technology and expertise. I assume by the slot size, it will be nearly the same sensor in this article, just larger to fit the iPhone 5 purposes. Apple also probably wanted to acquire the company as widely mentioned in order to avoid future collaboration and royalties in subsequent models of the iPhone. Obviously, once in the product, we will not want to lose the capability.

****Here is a link to AuthenTec's 8-K and developer's agreement with Apple. Search "Apple Sensor" and its definition is in Exhibit A.
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/da...4083dex101.htm

****It is going to happen.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple apparently sees something useful in their technology. Probably something that the company itself does not even see.

I can't imagine it to be for security, but what if it's for convenience. For instance, what if the body of the universal Apple HDTV remote control had areas on the natural way people hold a remote so that when a new family member picks it up it can adjust its settings, channel lineup, favorites, etc. for that user without the rigamarole of accessing a menu to make the change. It could also be used to lock out channels or access if the finger print isn't recognized but that would be a less secure, secondary feature.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #38 of 58
I wonder if a stolen iPhone could send the thief's fingerprint to the police?

And as a parent I would like the iPhone to automatically impose restrictions when my kids borrow the phone but not of course when I'm using it.
20" iMac G5, 2 GB Ram, OS X 10.4.11, .Mac
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20" iMac G5, 2 GB Ram, OS X 10.4.11, .Mac
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post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakovlev View Post

 

Pants pocket dialing won't happen in this scenario since you will have to touch the screen with a finger, not with a random object.

I think it could. For example I just did a test. I put my finger under my shirt tail which was conveniently untucked already then I pressed the Home button, then could easily swipe to unlock without my finger actually touching the screen through the cloth of the shirt. The same thing could happen if the phone is activated in your pocket. I might reach inside a pocket to get something and touch the screen accidentally and if that was all it took to unlock well you get the idea.... If it is then open and active, just the motion of walking could dial a number. Swipe to unlock is essential to preventing this from happening.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicron View Post

And multi-user iPad would be great (finally!).

I know what you are saying, but in fact a single-user iPad is much better. (It's my iPad dammit, get your own! I don't care if we are married to me!). I have over the last couple of years become increasingly possessive in regards to my iPad. At this point, at least to me, a multi-user iPad is as about as desirable as multi-user underwear - there's no reason we couldn't do that, I just don't want to go there.

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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