Rumor: Apple strikes deal with Australian start-up Microlatch for fingerprint security tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple has reportedly inked a deal with Microlatch to use the firm's fingerprint recognition technology in near-field communications applications, possibly hinting that the iPhone maker is serious about introducing e-wallet functionality to future devices.

David Murray, lead investor of the five-year-old company and former head of the Commonwealth Bank, told The Australian that Microlatch has an agreement with Apple to develop fingerprint-based identification technology, though declined to discuss the matter further.

Microlatch owns patents for what Murray calls "self-registering" fingerprint biometrics that supposedly meet banking security standards without requiring processing or storage.

"There have been acquisitions that suggest that people are positioning themselves around these biosecurity products securing mobile phones in a far more satisfactory way for people," Murray said.

Microlatch
Source: Microlatch


While the details of the reported deal remain sparse, it appears Apple is actively looking for some type of biometric solution to be used in conjunction with NFC to facilitate fast and secure digital payments. Apple purchased fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec in July for $356 million, a move which sparked a firestorm of rumors that speculated a future iPhone would implement the firm's technology.

Key to the acquisition was AuthenTec's "Smart Sensor" fingerprint reader, an advanced component once used in products made by HP, Dell, Lenovo and others. The fingerprint sensor maker announced in September that it would no longer be supplying components to existing customers, reportedly causing a "state of panic" as the tech companies were forced to find replacements.

Before the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 debuted last month, there was rampant speculation regarding a possible Apple-backed e-wallet based on Passbook, an app that stores and organizes digital coupons, gift cards and tickets. The rumors turned out to be just that, however, and it may be some time before Apple lines up the right technology to develop a product ripe for release.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member


    Wait. Didn't Apple just BUY a fingerprint tech company? What do they need these guys for?

  • Reply 2 of 20
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    Didn't Apple have fingerprint technology way back in 1983?


     


  • Reply 3 of 20
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,733member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Didn't Apple have fingerprint technology way back in 1983?


     


     



    No, that was finger technology...

  • Reply 4 of 20
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post


    No, that was finger technology...



     


    Ahhh, I see.


     


    Thanks for 'pointing' that out...

  • Reply 5 of 20
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Too funny! The both of you!

    (I'd use the Thumb-Up but can't as I'm on an iPad. Thanks Huddler. Not)

    @cash907: for their mapping software they bought several companies IIRC. So we might even see more procuring before they release anything.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post


    Wait. Didn't Apple just BUY a fingerprint tech company? What do they need these guys for?



     


    According to the article, Apple bought AuthenTec for their fingerprint SENSORS. The deal with MicroLatch is for fingerprint recognition technology.

  • Reply 7 of 20
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    I predict the iPhone 5S's key feature will be finger scanning and NFC.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    blackbook wrote: »
    I predict the iPhone 5S's key feature will be finger scanning and NFC.

    I predict finger-licking good KFC.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by GTR View Post

    I predict finger-licking good KFC.


     


    Please let this have also been a "double down" joke.

  • Reply 10 of 20
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    David Murray was on the OzBC TV last night commenting on the Reserve Bank cutting its base rate. Impressed me as a genuine heavy hitter in the business world.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    According to one source, "Microlatch has been working with Apple on a contract for the past year is yet another sign the tech giant is becoming serious about identification technology."

    If Apple has already been working with industry experts for one year, the result may have been the eventual purchase of AuthenTec. With the purchase of AuthenTec, I can't foresee anything Apple would need from Microlatch.

    As far as I have been able to discern, AuthenTec offers a far superior solution:
    [LIST]
    [*] superior biometrics
    [*] superior security
    [*] mobile device package size
    [/LIST]
  • Reply 12 of 20
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    blackbook wrote: »
    I predict the iPhone 5S's key feature will be finger scanning and NFC.
    So in a year, after Apple has put its resources behind PassBook and said NFC is not viable, they will do a 180 degree turn on POS technology?
  • Reply 13 of 20

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by enzos View Post



    David Murray was on the OzBC TV last night commenting on the Reserve Bank cutting its base rate. Impressed me as a genuine heavy hitter in the business world.


     


     


    He should be.  The Commonwealth Bank has over $700 billion in assets.  He used to be the boss of CBA.  He later headed the Future Fund for the Australian Government, which managed tens of billions in superannuation assets.

  • Reply 14 of 20

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Didn't Apple have fingerprint technology way back in 1983?


     




    There's one gesture you're not gonna get a patent on!  


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post



    According to one source, "Microlatch has been working with Apple on a contract for the past year is yet another sign the tech giant is becoming serious about identification technology."

    If Apple has already been working with industry experts for one year, the result may have been the eventual purchase of AuthenTec. With the purchase of AuthenTec, I can't foresee anything Apple would need from Microlatch.

    As far as I have been able to discern, AuthenTec offers a far superior solution:


    • superior biometrics


    • superior security


    • mobile device package size



    Maybe they have some patents that Apple wants (or needs) to license?

  • Reply 15 of 20
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    I predict the iPhone 5S's key feature will be finger scanning and NFC.


     


    I still don't see them adding NFC.  Despite what the article implies, NFC is not necessary to do what this company does and isn't necessarily related at all.  It's about the process for registering the fingerprint scan in a secure way and processing the whole thing on the device instead of sending it out to a third party.  


     


    The purchase of the other company was about integrating the scanning technology into a regular multi-touch screen.  


     


    I would assume that if fingerprint tech appears on the iPhone it will be done on the screen instead of a separate sensor, and that this purchase allows them to do all the processing necessary on the phone itself, making it both far more secure and simpler at the same time.  Both together would give Apple world-leading tech in this area that's highly secure.  


     


    I'm not sure why adding in an insecure, old-school tech like NFC to do the transmission part would make any sense at all.  


    They will likely use Bluetooth instead. 

  • Reply 16 of 20
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Didn't Apple have fingerprint technology way back in 1983?


     




    Off-topic, but I miss the power of this gesture.  


     


    It's been turned into a "fun," silly gesture by today's kids instead of the powerful and very rude one it was when this picture was taken.  


    What's the world coming too when you can't even give someone the finger anymore? 

  • Reply 17 of 20
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,471member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post





    So in a year, after Apple has put its resources behind PassBook and said NFC is not viable, they will do a 180 degree turn on POS technology?


     


    Do you somehow think that Apple has not already been talking with industry people about future plans?  When the timing is right, they will roll a solution and change the world.  Some Android phones have NFC and I don't see any mass rush towards that technology.  Apple will change the game when they do something, NFC or even something else, in the future.

  • Reply 18 of 20
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    Maybe they have some patents that Apple wants (or needs) to license?

    Perhaps but my understanding is that AuthenTec has more than sufficient patents to defend their technology.

    If anything I suspect MicroLatch has partnerships with mobile payment (cashless payment) transponders vendors such as HID Global iCLASS, LEGIC advant, NXP Semiconductors HITAG, MIFARE and MIFARE DESFire and Sony FeliCa as well as payment communication protocols such as Calypso, MasterCard PayPass, Visa payWave, American Express expresspaySM. In fact, it may be that AuthenTec doesn't actually provide any NFC infrastructure only the biometric sensor and security solution which a developer must then integrate with NFC transponder and communication protocols which aren't provided by AuthenTec.


    Essentially, I believe that Apple may be designing their own processor in collaboration with MicroLatch in order to field the first truly global NFC solution.
  • Reply 19 of 20

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post





    Perhaps but my understanding is that AuthenTec has more than sufficient patents to defend their technology.

    If anything I suspect MicroLatch has partnerships with mobile payment (cashless payment) transponders vendors such as HID Global iCLASS, LEGIC advant, NXP Semiconductors HITAG, MIFARE and MIFARE DESFire and Sony FeliCa as well as payment communication protocols such as Calypso, MasterCard PayPass, Visa payWave, American Express expresspaySM. In fact, it may be that AuthenTec doesn't actually provide any NFC infrastructure only the biometric sensor and security solution which a developer must then integrate with NFC transponder and communication protocols which aren't provided by AuthenTec.

    Essentially, I believe that Apple may be designing their own processor in collaboration with MicroLatch in order to field the first truly global NFC solution.


     


    ...and ...and... collect their 30% share.  :-)


     


    I'd love to replace my plastic with something that only could be used if I was the one (and only one) presenting it for payment. Too many fools out there not checking the back (or the front) of a credit card when you present it.

  • Reply 20 of 20
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    ...and ...and... collect their 30% share.  :-)

    ???

    I'd love to replace my plastic with something that only could be used if I was the one (and only one) presenting it for payment. Too many fools out there not checking the back (or the front) of a credit card when you present it.

    Hence, the purchase of AuthenTec.
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