Meet FingerLoc, AuthenTec’s bulky and unreliable Touch ID predecessor

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2013

After Apple had snapped up AuthenTec, an Israel-based NFC and smart sensor maker, for about $400 million in the summer of 2012, speculation abounded as puzzled pundits couldn’t envision Touch ID coming. Shortly after, Apple told AuthenTec’s clients such as Samsung to buy their sensors elsewhere.

It also shuttered the startup’s Embedded Security Solutions division while tasking AuthenTec engineers with rethinking fingerprint scanning on mobile. The results were nothing short of amazing: Apple has managed to take competition by surprise by seamlessly integrating the sophisticated Touch ID sensor into the iconic Home button, a far cry from the unreliable solutions that require you to swipe the sensor.

One publication was lucky enough to have been invited to a private presentation of an early Touch ID prototype by the AuthenTec co-founder F. Scott Moody… Read More


Apple moves to patent in-display fingerprint sensor tech

By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2013

One of the big new features in the upcoming iPhone 5S, Apple’s next generation smartphone, is expected to be a built-in fingerprint sensor. To be fair, we’ve yet to see any evidence of this, but reports have been consistent over past 6 months.

Up until now, most folks have presumed that if Apple were to outfit its handset with such a sensor, that it would build it into the Home button. But according to a new patent filing from the company, it could build it right into the display… Read More


New report says fingerprint sensor causing iPhone 5S production issues

By Cody Lee on Jul 16, 2013

The ever-controversial DigiTimes is reporting this morning that Apple’s upcoming flagship handset, believed to be the iPhone 5S, could be in short supply when it launches later this year. It seems that its fingerprint sensor is causing production issues.

Though we’ve yet to see any physical evidence to support the theory, we’ve heard a number of reports over the past few months claiming Apple has used its new AuthenTec technology to build a fingerprint sensor into (or underneath) the 5S Home button… Read More


Apple hiring software engineer for AuthenTec fingerprint sensor team

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2013

Last summer, Apple acquired AuthenTec, a Florida-based smart sensor company known for its embedded security and identity management technology. The news of the acquisition has sparked speculation that we will see fingerprint sensors in future iOS devices.

And Apple itself is adding fuel to that fire today, with a new job listing posted on its website. Apparently the Cupertino company is looking for a software engineer to join its team of fingerprint sensor engineers down in Melbourne, Florida at AuthenTec’s headquarters… Read More


New report claims iPhone 5S will feature a fingerprint sensor and NFC

By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2013

The chatter regarding Apple’s next-generation handset, the iPhone 5S, has stayed fairly consistent over the past few months. The talk points to a device with an iPhone 5-like design, an improved camera system and other internal upgrades.

Another rumor that continues to surface is that the phone will feature a built-in fingerprint sensor. And it’s popped up again this morning in a new report, claiming the 5S will use that and NFC to push Apple further into mobile payments… Read More


How Apple could implement fingerprint sensor on the next iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2013

Cody yesterday relayed a note by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who tried to guesstimate which products Apple may introduce or refresh in 2013. In addition to multiple iPhone models and all-high resolution iPad lineup (including the expected iPad mini with Retina display), the analyst expects the next iPhone to adopt a a fingerprint sensor. On the surface, that feature sounds a little off.

I mean, Apple just doesn’t put fingerprint sensors inside any of its gadgets, let alone phones, right? Then again, the company did acquire smart sensor maker AuthenTec for $356 million with very specific goals in mind. Shortly after, Apple even sold AuthenTec’s enterprise encryption business unit, signaling its intention to presumably focus on the Smart Sensor unit. Here’s how the built-in fingerprint sensor could enhance your next iPhone… Read More


Apple just needs smart sensors so AuthenTec unloads its encryption biz

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 19, 2012

AuthenTec, the maker of NFC chips and smart sensors that Apple bought in the summer for $356 million, has sold off its division which makes encryption-based security hardware and software. The buyer is French NFC maker and contactless chip provider Inside Secure and the transaction is valued at $48 million.

That Apple decided to get rid of AuthenTec’s Embedded Security Solutions division is another tell-tale sign that the iPhone maker snapped up AuthenTec for its NFC solutions and smart sensors that are not part of the Inside Secure deal.

Yes Mr. Schiller, I know “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today”, but Apple did drop $356 million on an NFC tech maker and obviously your next iPhone is going to have NFCRead More


AuthenTec tells clients to buy fingerprint sensors elsewhere in 2013

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2012

Earlier in the summer, smart sensor maker AuthenTec agreed to be bought by Apple for $356 million. Still pending approval, the transactions left even the seasoned watchers scratching their head.

People began wondering whether Cupertino might leverage AuthenTec’s fingerprint sensors to bolster enterprise security in iOS devices. Or, perhaps, Apple was keen on tapping AuthenTec’s sensors to add consumer features to iPhones, iPods and iPads, the stuff like finger-based unlock or a secure e-wallet service.

The deal remains shrouded in a veil of secrecy because Apple isn’t talking much and neither is AuthenTec. A report out this morning claims that AuthenTec’s current clients are “in a state of panic” as the company is telling them it will stop offering its technology and NFC/fingerprint sensors as of next year… Read More


New report rules out NFC for next-gen iPhone

By Cody Lee on Aug 28, 2012

Bad news today for folks who were hoping that near field communications technology, or NFC, would make it into the new iPhone. It looks like the tech is a no-go for Apple’s next smartphone.

Theories for the tech picked up steam yesterday when a square chip inside a leaked iPhone 5 part was identified as an NFC sensor. But according to a new report, it’s not happening this year… Read More


iOS devices could gain NFC and fingerprint sensors from AuthenTec

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2012

Apple’s unexpected $356 million acquisition of mobile security and smart sensors experts AuthenTec was finalized with an unusual urgency as the transaction will likely result in future iOS devices getting advanced built-in fingerprint and NFC sensors. Furthermore, it would seem Apple’s offer to AuthenTec even included an IP agreement giving Apple rights to use AuthenTec’s patents on an exclusive basis and even license them out to third-parties… Read More

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