Apple Stores to demo Touch ID using a dedicated app

Touch ID success

When the iPhone 5s launches this Friday, Apple’s retail employees will be showing off the new Touch ID fingerprint reading functionality to prospective customers using a dedicated app designed especially for this purpose, a new report Monday claimed. The feature, stemming from last year’s acquisition of Israeli biometric experts AuthenTenc, uses the fingerprint sensor embedded into the iconic Home button to unlock the handset with a touch of your finger and approved purchases on Apple’s content stores…

Mark Gurman, writing for 9to5Mac:

We’ve learned that Apple has designed a demo application specific to the iPhone 5s demo units that will be found in Apple Stores and Carrier stores. To test Touch ID, a customer can launch the demo app. In this app, a customer can setup the device to recognize a single fingerprint.

When the setup process is complete, the application will direct the user to place that fingerprint on the Touch ID sensor on the Home button. The application will then show that the Home button successfully read the fingerprint. Then, the app will tell the user to place a different finger on the Home button. The app will then show a red fingerprint outline to note that the authentication was not successful.

Users won’t be able to use true Touch ID functionality to unlock the handset and make purchases on the App Store. Furthermore, the app “will be reset for each new customer” to be able to try out the Touch ID setup process Store employees will also tell customers that Touch ID supports up to five prints.

Other aspects of the iPhone 5s Apple Store employees will focus on include improved camera features and 64-bit computing via the new A7 processor.

I was wondering how Apple might go about providing in-store Touch ID demos given the feature is dependent on the unique fingerprint characteristics of each user. Touch ID is arguably the headline iPhone 5s feature so Apple would be foolish not to promote it heavily in Apple Stores.

This app will get the job done whilst ensuring privacy-conscious customers that demo units won’t store their fingerprint.