After all Apple did buy AuthenTec nearly a year ago
Ahead of the official announcement of whatever devices Apple will finally reveal later today [September 9th 2013], there is feverish speculation that at least one new iPhone will contain fingerprint recognition. It’s not much of a wild guess, really, as Apple bought a fingerprint recognition company almost a year ago called AuthenTec. There have also been hints that support for fingerprint recognition will be included in the expected iOS version 7. It is not clear, however, what exactly fingerprint recognition will be utilised for. Some experts – like Intelligent Environments think it will be used for mobile banking. GoMo News believes it could well be an attempt to make stolen iPhones harder to sell.
There’s a notice on the AuthenTec web site which reads, “AuthenTec was acquired in October 2012 and the new owner [no mention of it being Apple] has discontinued the products and services supported on this site.”
So it stands to reason that the AuthenTec team must have been toiling directly on a project for Apple for at least ten months.
Now, the easy assumption to make is that fingerprint recognition will be employed for authenticating e-commerce transactions.
Research by Intelligent Environments indicates that 40 per cent of Brits are more likely to access bank accounts via smartphones if they feature fingerprint scanners.
If fingerprint technology is built into the latest iPhone(s), according to David Webber, md with Intelligent Environments, “This development will trigger a biometric banking revolution, which spells the death of the password as we know it.”
He continued, “Currently, more than a quarter of Brits (27 per cent) avoid using digital banking altogether due to the hassle of using a pin sentry or card reader to access their account.”
“In fact, as many one in eight (13 per cent) are effectively locked out of their account as they’ve lost their pin sentry.”
As Webber says, biometric technology could herald a new era of m-commerce.
This might well be the case – and if so it will help tie Apple iPhone owners even more tightly in with the iTunes store. Fending off the challenge from Amazon, for example.
But here in the UK, there was a lot of support given to a call by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who called for the likes of Apple to make it harder for criminals to sell the iPhones they are constantly stealing.
Here at GoMo News we’re not sure why such a practice never caught on because it was provided by IBM years ago – when it still owned the ThinkPad laptop range.
You’d have to ask Lenovo why fingerprint recongtion isn’t a standard feature.
Of course, it will always be possible to remove or reset fingerprint recognition - otherwise thousands of iPhones would be rendered useless.
The point is to make it as difficult as possible to bypass fingerprint recognition and this is what GoMo News thinks the AuthenTec team has been working on.
Virtually cast iron recognition which can readily be reset if you have the right key is what they might have managed to develop.
We’ll find out later today, of course.