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article imageApple's next-generation devices may include a fingerprint scanner

By Milton Este     Jun 27, 2013 in Technology
The delay of the iPhone 5S could be explained with what Apple has in store for us next. With no iPhone 5S announcement at the WWDC, it looks like Apple has good intentions with something big planned.
In July 2012, Apple made an agreement to acquire a mobile and network security firm, AuthenTec, for $356 million dollars offering $8 per share compared to their closing at only $5.07 per share. AuthenTec specializes in biometric security, or in simple terms fingerprint sensor identity management tools for personal computers, smartphones, and other personal electronics. This move suggests Apple may be working on a fingerprint identification feature for their line of products and it soon may be true with the iPhone 5S.
PatentlyApple reports today that the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed Apple's fingerprint feature to be embedded in the bezel of a given device. What exactly is a "bezel"? Apple defines a "bezel" as an unitary, substantially uniformly composed structure, most typically metal or conductive plastic. By the sensor underneath, this will allow the sensor to be much smaller and compact as well as protect it from external environmental hazards such as scratches.
In terms of the usage, PatentlyApple show's how it's done:
In operation, a user swipes a finger over a surface of the sensor. The sensor captures a number of thin strips of the fingerprint as the finger is swiped, and the complete fingerprint is assembled in software for use in authentication. Such a sensor apparatus is typically preferred when a compact sensor is desired.
The sensor will approximately be the width of a finger. Although there is no way to measure such a size, chances are Apple will make sure one size fits all.
Not only is the iPhone 5S rumored to feature this fingerprint scanning technology, but also NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication. Together, they will allow for a more secure authentication whether to unlock the device or to sign into online accounts. Unlike passwords, fingerprints cannot be copied or stolen allowing, which can also serve as the perfect payment gateway.
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