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Apple, Inc. gets its fingerprints on advanced touch sensor, appears difficult for Android to copy

post #1 of 210
Thread Starter 
In a market saturated with smartphones that all increasingly look the same, Apple wants its next iPhone to stand out and be difficult for cloners to duplicate.

iOS 7


Key to that strategy, it appears, is an advanced ultra-high resolution touchscreen technology it has developed over the last two years, shrouded in great secrecy.

The iPhone's defining multitouch touchscreen



When Apple first introduced the original iPhone in 2007, a key selling point was its capacitive multitouch screen. Steve Jobs contrasted the iPhone's full screen display against various models of then-popular button phones, inciting complaints from pundits and industry leaders who insisted that everyone really needed and wanted a physical keyboard.

Six years later, there are very few smartphones that even incorporate a physical keyboard, and virtually all of those that do also have a touchscreen. It may be hard to believe now, but in 2007 Microsoft's definition of a "Windows Mobile Smartphone" meant that it didn't have a touchscreen.

Sales of such phones, including the Samsung Blackjack II and Motorola Q (below), were obliterated when the multitouch iPhone appeared.

iPhone vs button phones 2007


The new iPhone didn't just have a big touchscreen, it also used a capacitive rather than resistive touchscreen. This allowed it to support multitouch gestures like pinching (which Android 1.x phones of the next couple years would not), as well as being much more accurate and sensitive enough to recognize a gentle flick-to-scroll gesture or a very rapid double tap (most other touchscreen smartphones, like the Palm Treo, required a clumsy stylus or a slow, firm press).

A Capacitive touchscreen senses the electrons emitted by your living tissue. When you touch the screen, you are charging up tiny capacitors with your finger's electrons; as you move your finger away they discharge, providing an electronic trail of where you've touched. This kind of screen generally won't work with thick gloves on with a plastic stylus because there's nothing electrically-live for it to sense.

A Resistive touchscreen measures physical pressure. As you press against it with a finger or a stylus, you're changing resistance in the screen by pushing it inward. This is generally much less sensitive, so it requires a more deliberate push. Some, like supermarket checkout screens (or 2007-era phones), force you to pick up the stylus to press in on the screen firmly to make a selection.

Patented


While more expensive, capacitive screens gave the original iPhone a high quality feel and enabled Apple's Cocoa Touch environment to present an entirely new way for users to interact with mobile devices, incorporating subtle gestures that had only previously been possible on expensive business presentation devices, like those pioneered by Jeff Han and publicly demonstrated just a year prior to the iPhone making it an affordable mainstream technology.

Upping the ante to keep iPhone fresh and differentiated



Every year since, Apple has incorporated three kinds of features on its iPhone (and related mobile devices). The first are "catch up" features that incorporate the existing functionality of competitors. In its second year, for example, the iPhone got push messaging like BlackBerry, a mobile App Store like Danger, 3G and GPS support like Nokia and enterprise features like Microsoft.

Most recently, iPhone 5 got support for 4G LTE, a feature that had been an exclusive held by Android devices for two years. Every catch up feature Apple adds denies competitors of being able to claim an edge over the iPhone.

A6


A second type of new feature Apple adds every year is a pacing of the state of the art. Every annual iPhone update has included a much faster Application Processor (like last year's A6, above), a more advanced Baseband Processor capable of faster data uploads and downloads and greatly improved camera sensors and optics. Everyone else in the industry is also matching these kinds of advances, making it hard to find ways to stand out. Everyone in the industry is desperately seeking new exclusives to stand out as new and fresh.

A third type of feature that Apple adds every year are new exclusives intended to keep the iPhone uniquely differentiated and exciting. Examples include the gyroscope, Retina Display and FaceTime on iPhone 4; Siri and AirPlay Mirroring on iPhone 4S and the precision design and advanced battery technology of iPhone 5.

Everyone in the industry is desperately seeking new exclusives to stand out as new and fresh. Apple needs these not just for differentiation with competing platforms, but also to encourage existing users to upgrade and entice new customers to buy a premium iPhone model.

A super sensitive touch screen for your fingertips



It's widely anticipated that one new feature Apple will be incorporating in its next high end model is a component that serves as an ultra precision, capacitive touchscreen. But rather than being part of the display, it appears it will be built into the Home button. And rather than being used to track your finger's movements, it will be used to uniquely verify your fingerprint.

Early last year, Apple began working with AuthenTec, a company that built advanced fingerprint scanners in addition to selling encryption-related embedded devices and encryption software for VPNs and secure video delivery.

While several companies, including HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu, had been incorporating AuthenTec fingerprint sensors in their PC notebooks (primarily as a secure shortcut for logging into Windows), only Fujitsu was using one in a smartphone.

Motorola Atrix


Back in early 2011, Motorola Mobility had debuted its new Atrix 4G smartphone with an AuthenTec fingerprint sensor (at the top, on the back of the phone, visible above), but it had trouble getting it to work reliably.

By the end of the year, users were complaining that the feature had stopped working and that Motorola wasn't doing anything to support it. The company hasn't included fingerprint scanners on its subsequent products.

AuthenTec's new fingerprint sensor fails to find interest, apart from Apple



Nearly one year after Motorola began its now-abandoned experiment with smartphone fingerprint scanners, an SEC filing outlined that AuthenTec had developed a new technology and began shopping it around to "several leading consumer electronics companies." AuthenTec stated that the main reason Apple was the only interested party appears to have been the cost involved

None of the companies AuthenTec approached expressed an interest in developing the technology apart from Apple, which began a conversation with the firm in late 2011. AuthenTec stated that the main reason Apple was the only interested party appears to have been the cost involved.

Initial licensing and development talks in February 2012 shifted into acquisition deal in May, which fell apart only to be revived in July, when Apple moved to quickly initiate a full acquisition for $365 million while paying an additional $27 million for the "right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company" including "commercialization of 2D fingerprint sensors for use in or with Apple products."

Fingerprint sensors inherently difficult and problematic



A report by an expert in the field of photographic fingerprinting seems to explain why nobody else but Apple expressed any serious interest in AuthenTec last year, including Motorola, which had been burned the year before.

Geppy Parziale is a researcher who cites more than 15 years of experience in pattern recognition and machine vision and who developed patented technology for full hand fingerprint capture with funding from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

In a blog entry for developer InvasiveCode, Parziale described the concepts behind biometric fingerprinting, contrasting the technology he developed for "touchless" photographic capture using "a camera with very sophisticated optical lenses and a complex lighting system" to the "touch" sensors sold by AuthenTec."Constant usage of the sensor starts to destroy the capacitors and over time, the fingerprint sensor stops to work" - Geppy Parziale

A primary engineering challenge for devices like AuthenTec's, Parziale describes, is that "constant usage of the sensor starts to destroy the capacitors and over time, the fingerprint sensor stops to work." While a protective layer can be added to prevent overloading the sensor's capacitors to prolong their lifespan, "the coating layer on the fingerprint sensor surface cannot be too thick otherwise the electrons from your body cannot reach the metallic surface of the sensor to generate a fingerprint image."

Complicating this issue, Parziale wrote, are real-world contaminants, including oils and salts naturally occurring on everyone's skin, that, together with heat and humidity, create "a killer combination for the sensor surface that speeds up the destruction of its surface."

Invasivecode
Source: Invasivecode


He states that "fingerprint sensor manufacturers (including AuthenTec) never achieved great success in this issue," adding, "Unfortunately there is no existing solution to this. Manufacturers can only try to make the fingerprint sensor last longer, but sooner or later that device will stop working properly."

He concludes that this will greatly limit the potential usefulness of any fingerprint sensor on an iPhone, and prevent Apple from using the sensor for payments due to the risk of false acceptance, "when after a while [of use wears the sensor out] somebody else can be granted access to your device."

This all happened before



Six years ago, similarly dire predictions were made about the touchscreen on the original iPhone by Nomura analyst Richard Windsor.

In a report published by Eric Savitz of Barrons, a note by Windsor was cited as saying that the "iPhone screen uses a chemical deposition process to provide touch sensitivity based on heat."

Windsor wrote that rights to the technology had been acquired from "a bankrupt Finnish company" whose earlier products ?encountered the problem that with extensive use, the film would begin to degrade and the screen would lose its sensitivity.? Windsor predicted iPhone screens would begin failing after three to six months, resulting in a massive, expensive recall.

2007 iPhone


That never happened, but more importantly the iPhone also never used a heat sensitive film. The next year, Windsor similarly issued a report saying that the second generation iPhone 3G had been equipped with faulty Infineon baseband chips and suggested that Apple might have to recall that product as well.

Analysts similarly reported that the new antenna design for iPhone 4 was so flawed that it wouldn't sell and would need to be recalled, but it again became the top selling smartphone model and Apple settled the media frenzy surrounding the issue with a free bumper offer.

Parziale's observations certainly seem more informed, but they also don't take into account the possibility that AuthenTec had developed a suitable solution to the issues he described.

The Smart Sensor: why Apple paid $356 million for AuthenTec



Apple paid far more for AuthenTech than it typically spends on acquisitions. There's only two known companies Apple has paid more for: $390 million for flash memory developer Anobit, and $400 million for NeXT, which formed the basis of Apple's 1997 turnaround, OS X and iOS.

Apple isn't known for paying astronomical billions for acquisitions that in retrospect, make little sense. While Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for Skype and Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola, Apple built its own FaceTime technology in-house and has developed its own mobile hardware business.

It's also clear Apple bought AuthenTec specifically for its fingerprint sensors. After closing the deal, Apple sold off the company's encryption technology.

AuthenTec advertised at the time 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."

The company's new AES850 sensor, which it began selling to Fujitsu for use in a new smartphone that went on sale in late 2011, was called "the world?s smallest authentication/navigation smart sensor in a durable package."

AuthenTec's secret work for and within Apple



A contract between Apple and AuthenTec that described a secretive partnership that would go on as the acquisition progressed described "Apple Project Materials" that AuthenTec was forbidden to "disassemble, decompile, or otherwise reverse engineer," indicating that Apple also had valuable and significant work of its own in progress.

Earlier this year, Apple filed a patent titled "Integrally molded die and bezel structure for fingerprint sensors and the like," describing a "unitary encapsulation structure" designed to protect a "delicate biometric array," while still allowing for a portion of the sensor and bezel to be exposed or thinly coated with a protective seal.

"By encasing both the bezel and the sensor die in the encapsulation structure," the patent explained, "those elements may be brought closer together than heretofore possible. In addition, the encapsulation structure physically protects the bezel and sensor die, and in particular maintains the spacing there between, in a fashion not possible by currently known device designs."


Fingerprint


View of bezel frame according to one embodiment.


Apple gets exclusive with AuthenTec



Last September, after Apple's acquisition closed, AuthenTec notified existing customers, including Samsung, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu, that it would no longer be fulfilling their orders for parts in 2013.

Biometric Update cited reports last year describing those customers as being "in a state of panic" as they tried to source alternative suppliers.

Parziale's description of the difficulty of developing functional, reliable fingerprint sensors is clearly true, evidenced by previous failures like the Motorola Atrix and the fact that Samsung was reportedly working with Validity Sensors to add fingerprint scanning to its upcoming Galaxy Note 3 "phablet" expected this fall, but apparently had to pull the feature after running into production problems.

Similar issues were rumored to affect Apple as well, but the company has had more time to work on the issues, and is now the owner of the company that described itself as "the world's #1 provider of fingerprint sensors."

A tough act to follow on a crowded stage



This indicates that "an advanced capacitive touchscreen" may once again give Apple an advanced edge with a valuable feature competitors will have trouble matching for years.

In contrast, Samsung's Galaxy S 4 flagship smartphone appeared with novelty gimmicks that analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray characterized as an "evolutionary" update, while Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said it was "not a game changer" and simply "heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5."

The Galaxy S 4 was estimated to have sold less than half as fast as Apple's iPhone 5 launch.

gs4


Google's announcement of its forthcoming Moto X was similarly greeted by Munster as offering nothing special, writing in a note that the new handset isn't "significantly different than [the Galaxy S4 and HTC One] to change the current market dynamics between Android and iPhone."

Apple already has a series of distinct features, particularly its leading ecosystem and a lock on important markets such as the enterprise. It if can pull off a functional fingerprint scanner, it stands to increase its lead by standing out in an otherwise poorly differentiated market.
post #2 of 210
Quote:

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a market saturated with smartphones that all increasingly look the same, Apple wants its next iPhone to stand out and be difficult for cloners to duplicate...


Key to that strategy, it appears, is an advanced ultra-high resolution touchscreen technology it has developed over the last two years, shrouded in great secrecy...
 

 

It seems that so long as third parties are involved in the development or implementation of Apple's technologies (aside of course, those from whom Apple licenses the technology), then clones will hit the market before too long and somehow get around protective patents. Being first by a couple of years or patents, or both... questions, questions. :)

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post #3 of 210
It does sound like they have come up with something new. But I wonder how long it takes to do a reading? Will you have to hold your finger on the home button for a while or just "click" it normal speed?
post #4 of 210
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Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It does sound like they have come up with something new. But I wonder how long it takes to do a reading? Will you have to hold your finger on the home button for a while or just "click" it normal speed?

 

One way to improve signal to noise is to sit staring at the subject for a while, the whole time integrating the signal. Apple's sensor is described as being 'super-sensitive', implying a very short integration time and therefore rapid response. It's conceivable that if the technology is truly advanced, that the fingerprint might be acquired as the finger nears or just touches the surface, even before the key is depressed (or preferably before the key is depressed). Might seem instantaneous and not subject to surface contamination. Might Apple have the issue sorted?

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post #5 of 210
I hope no more signing in, no more itunes account, no more password, no more stupid two factor, 3 questions to ask and answer etc.
post #6 of 210
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Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

 

It seems that so long as third parties are involved in the development or implementation of Apple's technologies (aside of course, those from whom Apple licenses the technology), then clones will hit the market before too long and somehow get around protective patents. Being first by a couple of years or patents, or both... questions, questions. :)

 

 

Since Apple bought the third party along with all of its intellectual properties and has patents on the new technology and eliminated its previous customers, it will be very very difficult for clones to be made for its best of class fingerprint technology.

post #7 of 210
Apple only paid $356 bucks for Authentec?
I could have bought them. 1smile.gif Any mere "thousand'aire" could have. 1smile.gif
OK fix your typo.

I also disagree with calling Apple's implementation of certain technologies catch up.

Apple's push messaging is nothing like blackberry, nor is the AppStore like danger, or Microsoft enterprise features or Nokia's 3G. Apple takes its time to implement technology their way and when they think it's the right time.

Take NFC for example, it is probably the most useless if not disgraceful function on cell phones today. So if Apple integrates NFC along with Bluetooth and Finger Prints into a payment platform, you will call that catch up?

Other than that nice feature article although a bit verbose and digressive.
post #8 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It does sound like they have come up with something new. But I wonder how long it takes to do a reading? Will you have to hold your finger on the home button for a while or just "click" it normal speed?

 

For reading your fingerprint, I would expect you to hold your finger on the button for a second to allow the sensor to take an image of your skin. 

post #9 of 210
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Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I hope no more signing in, no more itunes account, no more password, no more stupid two factor, 3 questions to ask and answer etc.

 

Those will still be there.  You still need to sign in with your iTunes account and password for when you use iTunes on your Mac, PC, iPad, and iPod Touch. You still need Two-factor and 3 questions to help insure security.

 

The fingerprint will be only one additional layer of security. The rest need to be in place.  Otherwise, crooks will simply cut off your fingers or hand to get by the fingerprint sensor.

post #10 of 210
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Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Apple only paid $356 bucks for Authentec?
I could have bought them. 1smile.gif Any mere "thousand'aire" could have. 1smile.gif
OK fix your typo.

I also disagree with calling Apple's implementation of certain technologies catch up.

Apple's push messaging is nothing like blackberry, nor is the AppStore like danger, or Microsoft enterprise features or Nokia's 3G. Apple takes its time to implement technology their way and when they think it's the right time.

Take NFC for example, it is probably the most useless if not disgraceful function on cell phones today. So if Apple integrates NFC along with Bluetooth and Finger Prints into a payment platform, you will call that catch up?

Other than that nice feature article although a bit verbose and digressive.

 

Apple won't use NFC.  It already has Passbook.  Passbook already is used more often then the NFC chips on Android. The failure of NFC has caused Google to leave out NFC chips on its own smartphones.  Why use NFC when you can simply use your existing merchant scanner or WiFi or Cell Phone signal to transmit your payment?

post #11 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

It seems that so long as third parties are involved in the development or implementation of Apple's technologies (aside of course, those from whom Apple licenses the technology), then clones will hit the market before too long and somehow get around protective patents. Being first by a couple of years or patents, or both... questions, questions. 1smile.gif

You are so right. Whatever Apple do the 'me to' mob will be one step behind, whatever it takes.
Edited by digitalclips - 8/7/13 at 4:10am
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post #12 of 210
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Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

 

 

Since Apple bought the third party along with all of its intellectual properties and has patents on the new technology and eliminated its previous customers, it will be very very difficult for clones to be made for its best of class fingerprint technology.

 

I saw that, more a general comment. Is bold text the new caps?

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post #13 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Apple only paid $356 bucks for Authentec?
I could have bought them. 1smile.gif Any mere "thousand'aire" could have. 1smile.gif

Exactly. New iPad or fingerprint sensor company and all its patent rights?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 210

Apple can delay copy cats from developing its technology using some alternate method, if they manufacture the component in question themselves.

As long as Samsung / Foxcon is manufacturing the component, they can leak the know how out to the market.

post #15 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

It's conceivable that if the technology is truly advanced, that the fingerprint might be acquired as the finger nears or just touches the surface, even before the key is depressed (or preferably before the key is depressed).

Having to press the home button makes more sense. So waking the device is always a deliberate action. Unless of course the wake button was just pressed and the device is awaiting unlock input.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 210
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Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The fingerprint will be only one additional layer of security. The rest need to be in place.  Otherwise, crooks will simply cut off your fingers or hand to get by the fingerprint sensor.

They could also say tell me your password or I'll stab you.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 210
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Originally Posted by nikilok View Post

Apple can delay copy cats from developing its technology using some alternate method, if they manufacture the component in question themselves.
As long as Samsung / Foxcon is manufacturing the component, they can leak the know how out to the market.

You think the competition isn't capable of disassembling an iPhone?

Also, I hope to God if this fingerprint tech is as good as this article claims it will be that it also appears in the 2013 iPads, as I'm upgrading to the iPad 5 from the 4. Yes, indeed, that will mean I have owned the iPad 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Selling each one while acquiring the next. I'm Apple crazy like that.
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post #18 of 210
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


...Unless of course the wake button was just pressed and the device is awaiting unlock input.

 

That's what I was implying. Sense the fingerprint as the finger nears or touches the button, press the button for confirmation. :)

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post #19 of 210
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Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

That's what I was implying. Sense the fingerprint as the finger nears or touches the button, press the button for confirmation. 1smile.gif

But the most common way to wake an iOS device is via the home button. And by doing it this way that can be the initiating confirmation. So the button needs to be pressed first (unless device is awake already, which is the exception).
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post


Since Apple bought the third party along with all of its intellectual properties and has patents on the new technology and eliminated its previous customers, it will be very very difficult for clones to be made for its best of class fingerprint technology.

From the article:
"...Apple moved to quickly initiate a full acquisition for $365 million while paying an additional $27 million for the "right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company"

Right to acquire non-exclusive licenses? So there are some rights that Apple did not get with the purchase which would imply that other companies have those rights? Confusing.

FWIW Pantech unveiled the Android-based Vega yesterday incorporating of all things a fingerprint sensor for authentication
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post #21 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


You think the competition isn't capable of disassembling an iPhone?

Also, I hope to God if this fingerprint tech is as good as this article claims it will be that it also appears in the 2013 iPads, as I'm upgrading to the iPad 5 from the 4. Yes, indeed, that will mean I have owned the iPad 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Selling each one while acquiring the next. I'm Apple crazy like that.

 

Oh same here, only difference being I don't sell the old ones.. Keeping it so 20 years from now I can see were it all started from.. Or might even auction it then :D.

 

And about disassembling an iPhone, yes they do that but that would take longer to back trace the technology and create patent overriding methods.

post #22 of 210
From the link to that invasivecode.com article it seems we may never get a fingerprint sensor. Anyone read it, and thinks the same?
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post #23 of 210
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Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

From the link to that invasivecode.com article it seems we may never get a fingerprint sensor. Anyone read it, and thinks the same?

Yeah, I always though the retina scan would have been the better way to go … the iPhone's camera doesn't have this same degradation issue. Plus you could have multiple reference scans, 'just awake', 'normal', 'bloodshot (hung over)', 'just had a joint' and so on. 1biggrin.gif

Seriously though, you have to think Apple have something up their sleeve this guy is unaware of don't you?
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post #24 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

From the article:
"...Apple moved to quickly initiate a full acquisition for $365 million while paying an additional $27 million for the "right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company"

Right to acquire non-exclusive licenses? So there are some rights that Apple did not get with the purchase which would imply that other companies have those rights? Confusing.

FWIW Pantech unveiled the Android-based Vega yesterday incorporating of all things a fingerprint sensor for authentication

"Pantech Vega LTE-A IM-A880S boasts of a fingerprint reader and touch sensor at the back of the device" Seems they have it backwards … LOL
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post #25 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

From the link to that invasivecode.com article it seems we may never get a fingerprint sensor. Anyone read it, and thinks the same?

Based on the article the author says there will be a fingerprint sensor in the next iPhone but it will be the least secure of the available sensing methods and not appropriate for authenticating payments
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post #26 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Yeah, I always though the retina scan would have been the better way to go … the iPhone's camera doesn't have this same degradation issue. Plus you could have multiple reference scans, 'just awake', 'normal', 'bloodshot (hung over)', 'just had a joint' and so on. 1biggrin.gif

HA!
Quote:
Seriously though, you have to think Apple have something up their sleeve this guy is unaware of don't you?

I would like to think so, but after reading his article, and the other fingerprint capture method I don't see how they can make it work:

There are 2 kinds of fingerprint capture methods: touchless and touch-based fingerprint capture. I pioneered the first category. This capture technique requires a camera with very sophisticated optical lenses and a complex lighting system. The huge advantage of the touchless fingerprint devices compared to the touch-based ones is that, since the finger does not need to touch any rigid surfaces, the skin does not deform and the image captures very rich details that can make the recognition more accurate. Manufacturing costs are the main issue with this kind of devices and they cannot be miniaturized, so touchless fingerprint devices are not suitable for cellphones.

CMOS fingerprint device, you will find a number representing the lifetime of a device. That number is expressed in number of touches (before it completely dies). That number is provided in ideal conditions of usage and in a normal operating environment of temperature and humidity. But remember where you normally use your iPhone. You keep it in your “dirty" pockets, you leave it on different surfaces, and in humid and hot or cold and dry environments. Sometimes water drops on it or you forget it in your car under the sun. All these factors stress the working conditions of the sensor surface and contribute to speeding up its decay process. Unfortunately there is no existing solution to this.

For you, this means that a fingerprint sensor on your phone will break after a while. How long after you buy it? Well, that will depend on where you live, how you use it, where you use it, how careful you are with it, and how clean your hands are.
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post #27 of 210

Feels like a gimmick to me. Don't get me wrong, I've had laptops and computers with fingerprint sensors on them and it was pretty cool, but in the end I stopped using them. My work HP laptop AuthenTec fingerprint reader was a fickle little bastard. Hopefully Apple can make it right.


Edited by 3Eleven - 8/7/13 at 4:54am
post #28 of 210
Capacitative? Dude, it's capacitive!
post #29 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

HA!
I would like to think so, but after reading his article, and the other fingerprint capture method I don't see how they can make it work:

There are 2 kinds of fingerprint capture methods: touchless and touch-based fingerprint capture. I pioneered the first category. This capture technique requires a camera with very sophisticated optical lenses and a complex lighting system. The huge advantage of the touchless fingerprint devices compared to the touch-based ones is that, since the finger does not need to touch any rigid surfaces, the skin does not deform and the image captures very rich details that can make the recognition more accurate. Manufacturing costs are the main issue with this kind of devices and they cannot be miniaturized, so touchless fingerprint devices are not suitable for cellphones.

CMOS fingerprint device, you will find a number representing the lifetime of a device. That number is expressed in number of touches (before it completely dies). That number is provided in ideal conditions of usage and in a normal operating environment of temperature and humidity. But remember where you normally use your iPhone. You keep it in your “dirty" pockets, you leave it on different surfaces, and in humid and hot or cold and dry environments. Sometimes water drops on it or you forget it in your car under the sun. All these factors stress the working conditions of the sensor surface and contribute to speeding up its decay process. Unfortunately there is no existing solution to this.

For you, this means that a fingerprint sensor on your phone will break after a while. How long after you buy it? Well, that will depend on where you live, how you use it, where you use it, how careful you are with it, and how clean your hands are.
Here is an idea for an implementation of a finger print scanner that won't damage itself with time. What if some photographic technique can be used to snap the thumb that rests over the home button. The home button would be translucent black allowing certain spectrum of light to only pass through.
The reflected light from the thumb could be captured by regular camera light sensors and process the image obtained. That's gotta work fine. Except that such a technique can't be fused into a retina display or other similar screens.
post #30 of 210

I don't see this as being the next big thing of smart phones, don't get me wrong it was a really nice article and it might be nice to have but it is defiantly not a feature that many are seeking. Every Thinkpad I have ever bought has come with one and I am yet to use it, sure, yes having it on the screen is probably more inviting but I will still personally use a password. The smarter these phones get the dumber we become, I have no doubt that people will start forgetting their passwords if they start storing them in the bio-keychain program, they will probably change them less frequently making it easier for hackers. One of the reasons why I don't use Apples Keychain program in OSX, I like memorizing things, it makes me sharper and I it forces me to remember to change my password. This is a neat feature no doubt, I just don't think it will be the game changer that many of you perceive it as. I would probably be more impressed with an optical scanner, maybe that's the next step.

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post #31 of 210

What Apple really needs to do is catch up with the big android phones that support multi touch while using gloves. That is a huge selling point for me that never really seems to be brought up, even by the companies who already have them.

And having always had a Lenovo with finger print reader, I think this is a bit gimmicky. It always worked flawlessly on the laptop but after the first few weeks, a password was just more convenient and I never used it since. Or just use facial recognition like android has. Lower security but sufficient for thieves because they don't know have any pictures of you.

post #32 of 210
Perhaps Google should consider a better authentication technique. Rather than drop flamebait in this thread better to wait for the AI article sure to post soon. Hint: It involves Chrome.

FWIW I agree with a couple other posters that fingerprint authentication may be more of a marketing thing than a truly secure log-in and authentication feature, at least for now. We'll know soon enough.
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post #33 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Perhaps Google should consider a better authentication technique. Rather than drop flamebait in this thread better to wait for the AI article sure to post soon. Hint: It involves Chrome.

Sounds like 'flamebait' to me. You might as well enlighten me what thing is coming to Chrome. TIA
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post #34 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

What Apple really needs to do is catch up with the big android phones that support multi touch while using gloves. That is a huge selling point for me that never really seems to be brought up, even by the companies who already have them.

Won't the icons need to be bigger because of the glove? Won't it be easier to just take your glove off? For me, that would be a better way - hands down.
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post #35 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

What Apple really needs to do is catch up with the big android phones that support multi touch while using gloves. That is a huge selling point for me that never really seems to be brought up, even by the companies who already have them.
And having always had a Lenovo with finger print reader, I think this is a bit gimmicky. It always worked flawlessly on the laptop but after the first few weeks, a password was just more convenient and I never used it since. Or just use facial recognition like android has. Lower security but sufficient for thieves because they don't know have any pictures of you.

Catchup with the android world like the NFC joke ? Apples the leader when it comes to showing the rest of the world how to move ahead. Sit back n watch.

Apple needs to bring in a disruptive tech to send the android device manufacturers on a wild goose hunt dismantling more iPhones to figure out the tech.

The impact of such a tech is huge. A world were all passwords, other info you want can be remembered in the iCloud Keychain and granted access with your thumb impression.

Imagine if you only had to touch your thumb to authenticate yourself all over the web and iOS Eco system. It's a big move towards advancements and better user experience.

The later part user experience would get a giant leap ahead with a small touch of a finger.
post #36 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

 

Those will still be there.  You still need to sign in with your iTunes account and password for when you use iTunes on your Mac, PC, iPad, and iPod Touch. You still need Two-factor and 3 questions to help insure security.

 

The fingerprint will be only one additional layer of security. The rest need to be in place.  Otherwise, crooks will simply cut off your fingers or hand to get by the fingerprint sensor.

Really? Someone's been watching too many spy movies. Why would anyone go through the trouble of cutting off someone's appendage? To gain access to my iTunes music???

 

I'll take that chance.

post #37 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The fingerprint will be only one additional layer of security. The rest need to be in place.  Otherwise, crooks will simply cut off your fingers or hand to get by the fingerprint sensor.

 

The presence of biometric sensors would solve that instantaneously. No pulse detected? No authentication.

post #38 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikilok View Post


Catchup with the android world like the NFC joke ? Apples the leader when it comes to showing the rest of the world how to move ahead. Sit back n watch.

Apple needs to bring in a disruptive tech to send the android device manufacturers on a wild goose hunt dismantling more iPhones to figure out the tech.

The impact of such a tech is huge. A world were all passwords, other info you want can be remembered in the iCloud Keychain and granted access with your thumb impression.

Imagine if you only had to touch your thumb to authenticate yourself all over the web and iOS Eco system. It's a big move towards advancements and better user experience.

The later part user experience would get a giant leap ahead with a small touch of a finger.

 

Google+ auto-sign in already does this across the web and android eco system. Without the need for a gimmicky finger print reader. And I don't think android manufacturers look to Apple anymore. With 80% world market share, why would they?

I agree with you on NFC tho. I use it all the time but it's certainly a long way off (if ever) from anything useful. It's so much better than having to scan a phone's screen which I've seen fail over and over, and it's failed on me too. If only the infrastructure was there.

post #39 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I don't see this as being the next big thing of smart phones, don't get me wrong it was a really nice article and it might be nice to have but it is defiantly not a feature that many are seeking. Every Thinkpad I have ever bought has come with one and I am yet to use it, sure, yes having it on the screen is probably more inviting but I will still personally use a password. The smarter these phones get the dumber we become, I have no doubt that people will start forgetting their passwords if they start storing them in the bio-keychain program, they will probably change them less frequently making it easier for hackers. One of the reasons why I don't use Apples Keychain program in OSX, I like memorizing things, it makes me sharper and I it forces me to remember to change my password. This is a neat feature no doubt, I just don't think it will be the game changer that many of you perceive it as. I would probably be more impressed with an optical scanner, maybe that's the next step.

You're swimming upstream alone here. Adding features is only about convenience. Do you listen to CDs or vinyl because it forces your ears to be sharper or do you just listen to MP3s? Do you only watch uncompressed HD for the benefit of your eyes or do you stream Netflix? No one wants to memorize passwords and if you give them a faster, possibly more secure (none of my passwords are secure at all) alternative, they will take it.

post #40 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by CogitoDexter View Post

The presence of biometric sensors would solve that instantaneously. No pulse detected? No authentication.

Or better yet, Siri dialing 911, explaining the situation.
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