Apple Just Inked A Deal That Might Bring Fingerprint NFC Tech To The Next iPhone

Apple Just Inked A Deal That Might Bring Fingerprint NFC Tech To The Next iPhone

It looks like Apple is really interested in doing something involving biosecurity in the future. A few months ago Apple acquired fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec, and now they just signed a deal with an Australian company that specializes in fingerprint and biometric security that is processed via NFC.

According to The Australian, Apple has just signed a deal with Microlatch which will allow Apple to develop fingerprint technology for use in NFC applications. Microlatch owns patents that comply with banking standards that allow users to use their fingerprints or other biometric data and process them on their smartphone without a need for it to be transmitted or stored externally – like on a banks computer.

The financials of the deal has not been disclosed. After Apple left NFC out of the iPhone 5 we expect Apple to either add it in the next iPhone, or come up with a different method of mobile payment and communication. Some analysts anticipated that Apple would implement AuthenTec’s technology in the iPhone 5, but it’s more likely that we won’t see it until the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6.

  • mr_bee

    I don’t know where you get the idea that this necessarily involves NFC. The phrase “processed via NFC” is essentially meaningless also. NFC is a very insecure *transmission* technology and has nothing to do with processing.

    It’s also a known thing that Apple had two prototypes of iPhone 5 in the final testing phase, one with NFC and one without. The fact that they went without NFC on the iPhone 5 means that it’s most likely that you will never see NFC on the iPhone. There is nothing that NFC can do that the current iPhone is not already capable of doing via Bluetooth and other means.

  • mr_bee

    You can’t use bluetooth for purchasing items as you can with NFC. You can’t “easily” share data with bluetooth, the handshake requires too much programming (compared to NFC where it’s nearly instant).

    Actually, you can do all of this with Bluetooth. NFC is just a transmission technology as I said, (the same as Bluetooth) and it’s not even very secure. All of the stuff you mention is in the *software* and it’s no easier or harder to program the software to use Bluetooth than it is to use NFC.

  • Lane Jasper

    Let’s focus on the issues at hand Apple. No need to jump the gun here. (actually there is reason and it’s awesome Apple at least thinks ahead). :-)

  • Whodakat

    I don’t know where you get the idea that this necessarily involves NFC. The phrase “processed via NFC” is essentially meaningless also. NFC is a very insecure *transmission* technology and has nothing to do with processing.

    It’s also a known thing that Apple had two prototypes of iPhone 5 in the final testing phase, one with NFC and one without. The fact that they went without NFC on the iPhone 5 means that it’s most likely that you will never see NFC on the iPhone. There is nothing that NFC can do that the current iPhone is not already capable of doing via Bluetooth and other means.

    This. I found a video from Microlatch (on 9to5Mac) showing that smart phones will use bluetooth tethering as a means to communicate with whatever NFC device is requiring fingerprint verification. The deal is probably how Apple plans to work with whatever vendors are using NFC. I was sure Apple would never increase the size of their iPhone screen, or make an iPad mini so I’m not as confident in this prediction, but I highly doubt we will ever see NFC in an iPhone. Apple seems pretty intent on using Bluetooth.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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