Apple Has Something Cooking In The Fingerprint Sensor Department

iPhone-6-White

What would make the next iPhone truly exciting? That’s what people are wondering. A lighter body, better camera, and iOS 7 probably won’t cut it for most. How will Apple deliver the pizazz we’ve all grown accustomed to?

Software is always evolving, and Apple has arguably the best software experience out there for mobile devices, period. But unfortunately software by itself isn’t that exciting. You need new hardware. Now it looks like Apple is working on some interesting fingerprint sensor-related hardware off the coast of Florida.

A recent job listing posted on Apple’s website seeks a software engineer to work at the Melbourne Design Center. Melbourne, Florida also happens to be the home of AuthenTec, a company Apple recently bought for $356 million that specializes in fingerprint sensors. This job listing is the only one currently available for Apple’s Melbourne division. Among other skills, “the individual must be capable of writing low-level code to configure and control hardware,” according to Apple.

Several analysts have predicted that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint sensor below the Home button. One would theoretically be able to unlock the iPhone without entering a passcode and possibly use fingerprint verification to process mobile payments.

Apple hasn’t owned AuthenTec for very long, so it’s hard to believe that this kind of hardware would be coming this year—but hey, who knows. Rumors are pointing to a late summer iPhone 5S announcement. And what’s to keep fingerprint sensors from coming to the Mac?

  • VirtualVisitor

    Hmmm….

    “Fingerprint sensor” and “exciting” ? You guys need to get out more.

  • Robert X

    “Fingerprint recognition on the iPhone? That is fantastic!” Said nobody ever.

  • technochick

    I have a feeling that folks will be disappointed by what comes of this. They could be looking at the tech not to recognize a specific fingerprint but merely to recognize when a finger is ‘face down’ versus ‘sideways’ for palm rest type functions. At least for the foreseeable future

  • Janneus

    Don’t get too under-excited. What about… by fingerprint, you can use different accounts on one iPhone. Only by scanning your fingerprint, the device recognises who’s who and loads his or hers particular account. That really comes in handy with parental control: give kids an account, just block certain apps and purchases for them, and you can use every feature yourself.
    Another example: only with your fingerprint you can turn of the device. That makes Find my iPhone much more useful, since every thief nowadays turns of an iPhone immediately.
    And what about payment: no cash or credit card numbers, but your fingerprint to pay with your iPhone. Good-bye old wallet.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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