Watch A Kitten’s Paw Unlock The iPhone 5s’s Touch ID “Fingerprint” Sensor [Video]


The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S? It’s not limited to just human use. As Darrell Etherington over at Techcrunch has discovered, it works just fine with a cat’s paw too.

Running his Touch ID sensor through a battery of tests, Etherington discovered that it wasn’t just a fingerprint that could be used to identify a user and unlock an iPhone 5s. Over at Techcrunch, Etherington explains:

The cat’s paw worked, and while it encountered more frequent failures than did a fingerprint, it was able to unlock the phone again repeatedly when positioned correctly on the sensor. Note that no other paw pads would unlock the device, and that cats essentially have unique “fingerprints” just like people, so this doesn’t make the Touch ID sensor any less secure.

For the curious, I also tested the 5s fingerprint sensor on the heel of my palm, as well as on the inside of my forearm up around the wrist, and found that I could register and successfully unlock with both skin regions. Again, it was trickier to get the unlock to work consistently, and trying to fool the sensor by using the same part of the body on the opposing limb never worked.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t an exploit of the Touch ID sensor. It’s working as intended: once paired with a thumbprint, the heel of your palm, or a cat’s paw, only those things will unlock the device.

Awesome or stupid? You decide!

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  • vhcarrasqueira

    That´s not a iPhone 5s. It´s a iPhone 5. And that is not a fingerprint sensor! Its just the home button. Nice trick.

  • vaidymohan

    Cats beware; NSA has started collecting your fingerprints too :-P… No seriously, in case NSA indeed gets our fingerprints from iPhone 5S (as many are fearing they would), this is a cool way to use iPhone 5S securely then. Get a cat and unlock your phone using it’s paw.

    Well you might have to take it everywhere you go; EVERYWHERE. That’s the only downside. :-P

  • Moebius

    Stupid. It doesn’t even amaze me anymore the things people will do to get 10 seconds of mention on a site these days.

  • DavieRockefeller

    Uh, yeah, that’s a 5c not a 5s.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    What a fraud.

  • CoyoteDen

    That is a 5s in a red case. You can clearly see the Touch ID sensor and the 5/5c don’t say “try again”

  • CoyoteDen

    NOPE. I do not want my cats to be able to unlock my phone. That is a recipe for disaster.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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