iPhone home button fingerprint scanner described in latest iOS 7 beta

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's latest iOS 7 beta includes a reference to a "Biometric Kit," offering the strongest evidence yet that the company's next iPhone will include a built-in fingerprint scanner underneath the home button.

Fingerprint
iOS 7 beta 4 includes a reference to a "Biometric Kit." Screenshot via Hamza Sood.


A folder entitled "BiometricKitUI.axb" was discovered in iOS 7 beta 4 on Monday by Hamza Sood. A text string accompanying the folder describes an image showing a person "holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the Home button with their thumb."

Another string of text shows that the system will inform users on the completion status of scanning their fingerprint, presumably counting up to 100 percent.

Fingerprint
iOS 7 beta 4 text strings. Screenshot via Hamza Sood.


The rumored "iPhone 5S" feature is believed to be powered by Apple's $356 million acquisition of AuthenTec last summer. The firm described 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."

A supercharged Home button

AppleInsider noted last August that Authentec's AES850 component, called "the world?s smallest authentication/navigation smart sensor in a durable package," appeared 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," our report stated.

"In addition," it detailed, "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 January, well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities cited sources as confirming that Apple was planning to include a fingerprint sensor underneath the home button in this year's iPhone upgrade.

According to Kuo, users will simply place their thumb over the iPhone's home button when prompted. This will allow the device to identify the user for various tasks such as entering passwords or authorizing purchases.

AuthenTec's "Smart Sensor" component is believed to be the key piece of technology Apple was interested in acquiring. That product measured just 1.3 millimeters thick while being able to scan 500 pixels per inch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    This, to me, would be one of the best improvements to the iPhone since its inception, in terms of actual usage. Would be so awesome not having to enter passwords 73,293 times a day. Definitely make usage more enjoyable and efficient.
  • Reply 2 of 102
    Whoops!
  • Reply 3 of 102
    bradprobradpro Posts: 7member
    So, will NSA have all our thumbprints soon?
  • Reply 4 of 102
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member


    People were suggesting that technology on this forum for the home button long before January.


     


    Maybe with this + NFC, Passbook will be a functional app finally

  • Reply 5 of 102
    Very interesting...do we need more evidence. Is this explicit enough to discount the scanner in the screen?
  • Reply 6 of 102
    ytseman3ytseman3 Posts: 33member
    pretty sure the NSA already does.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    dugbugdugbug Posts: 283member
    I would imagine this complements your actual password rather than replaces it as you still need to enter a password on your mac. It does have one attribute a password does not: it cannot be shared.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    mikejonesmikejones Posts: 323member



    Quote:


    Well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities was first to reveal in January that Apple is allegedly planning to include a fingerprint sensor underneath the home button in this year's iPhone upgrade. The rumored "iPhone 5S" feature is believed to be powered by Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec last year for $356 million.



    So basically he just simply adjusted the previous rumors about how this very thing was going to be in the iPhone 5 and changed it to the 5S after the previous rumors were shown to be wrong. What is the amazing revelation in that?

  • Reply 9 of 102
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member


    That biometrics thing could also be for iwatch or other wearable devices.

  • Reply 10 of 102
    bunlobunlo Posts: 28member


    Then I see what Samsung will do next,


    Invent a keychain with NFC chip,


    Bump it with the phone to unlock it.


    Make an Ad having bunch of people in front of Apple store,


     


    And that's is Galaxy S5.

  • Reply 11 of 102
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dugbug View Post



    I would imagine this complements your actual password rather than replaces it as you still need to enter a password on your mac. It does have one attribute a password does not: it cannot be shared.


     


    I'm sure there will be options in Settings for how you want to use the fingerprint unlock. It would be wise to still have a passcode option especially if you have someone else using your phone.

  • Reply 12 of 102
    This feature can distinguish iPhone 5s from those crisply large android phones.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post



    Would be so awesome not having to enter passwords 73,293 times a day.


    Impossible! image

  • Reply 14 of 102
    mikejones wrote: »
    So basically he just simply adjusted the previous rumors about how this very thing was going to be in the iPhone 5 and changed it to the 5S after the previous rumors were shown to be wrong. What is the amazing revelation in that?

    Amazing revelation? He's usually accurate, there's no revelation about it. Quit trying to be such an ass, and spank yourself for being wrong.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member


    No more pin, e-mail/passwords, etc. A secure system. Truly a step forward. YES!

  • Reply 16 of 102
    The usefulness of this depends a lot on how quickly the scanning happens. Nobody wants to hold down for 5 seconds waiting for their phone to open.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AndrewofArabia View Post



    The usefulness of this depends a lot on how quickly the scanning happens. Nobody wants to hold down for 5 seconds waiting for their phone to open.


     


    There's no reason it would take 5 seconds. 

  • Reply 18 of 102


    The bigger question is...which iPhone is this feature going to be available? I doubt iPhone 5S will have it, maybe 6 or 6S then.

  • Reply 19 of 102

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple's latest iOS 7 beta includes a reference to a "Biometric Kit," offering the strongest evidence yet that the company's next iPhone will include a built-in fingerprint scanner underneath the home button.

     


     


    This will be one of those things that prevents margin erosion - by both Android knockoffs and the "cheap" iPhone.  

  • Reply 20 of 102
    mikejonesmikejones Posts: 323member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AndrewofArabia View Post





    Amazing revelation? He's usually accurate, there's no revelation about it. Quit trying to be such an ass, and spank yourself for being wrong.


    He's not accurate. He simply shifts the product and/or release date until eventually he might be right about a rumor. And in this case he simply used hindsight to change the previous rumor from 5 to 5S. That's about it. He's no more accurate than a expert colder reader pretending to be a spirit medium.

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