A last-minute leak from our friends over at Nowhereelse.fr suggested that Apple would refer to the rumored iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor as Touch ID. The rumors were true: Apple first revealed the top-end iPhone 5s which has a much-improved camera and runs two times faster A7 chip that’s 64-bit (the first for a phone) and a new motion chip called M7.
The executives saved the best part for the end of the presentation: the built-in fingerprint scanning feature which draws from Apple’s 2012 acquisition of the Israeli biometric sensor experts AuthenTec. Jump past the fold for the full reveal..
In another potential breakthrough – and in accordance with leaks, patents and rumors – the fingerprint sensor is integrated right into the Home button’s silver ring. Confirming rumor-mill chatter, the sensor allows users to log in more quickly and with greater security.
The sensor itself is 170 microns thin and is based on capacitive touch technology with a whopping 500 points per inch resolution which allows it to scan sub-epidermal skin layers in a 360-degree freedom. In other words, no matter how you swipe with your finger over the Home button, Touch ID just works.
Another great feature: instead of entering your iTunes credentials each time you want to buy a new app or other content from the iTunes Store, iOS 7 simply puts up a prompt asking to scan your fingerprint.
That’ll be a huge time-saver!
Touch ID works in tandem with the underlying iOS 7 technologies and features like Activation Lock to prevent unauthorized access for thieves. Apple assures that it stores your fingerprint on the device and says it never backs it up to the cloud.
This is another seismic shift in mobile.
Biometric security is important and with nearly half a billion iTunes accounts with credit cards enabled for one-click purchasing, the sky is the limit. While Apple did not talk about using fingerprint sensor to authenticate real-life purchases, we have no doubt in our minds that they will be rolling additional features over time.
Right now, only the iPhone 5s has Touch ID, but with new iPads reportedly up for an introduction next month we think it’s only a matter of time before every iOS devices included biometric security as standard feature.
The plastic iPhone 5c won’t ship with the sensor because it doesn’t have a fast A7 chip.
So, is Touch ID a killer feature?