Apple’s acquired fingerprint sensor patent from AuthenTec revealed

“On July 18, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the technology behind their new fingerprint sensor which will be used in a future fingerprint scanner for the iPhone and possibly other iDevices and Macs,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“The technology revealed is from Apple’s acquired AuthenTec,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s interest in fingerprint scanners for the iPhone and Mac first surfaced in a 2009 patent application. Apple’s project was then advanced in 2012 illustrating that a fingerprint scanner could be combined with face or eye recognition (or Retina recognition) to enhance security needs.”

“Then in May of this year, Apple revealed yet another patent filing describing a fingerprint scanner that could be concealed beneath a touchscreen and only surface when needed in a particular application. One of Apple’s last patent filings on this subject matter revealed that a fingerprint scanner could also be hidden within a future MacBook or an iDevice bezel,” Purcher reports. “Apple appears to be covering every conceivable application for a future fingerprint scanner. At the end of the day, the race is on to find new authentication methods that will provide users with a secure e-commerce transaction process within their hardware while simplifying the user login process.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.


  1. For the sake of a future iwallet, this is likely a necessary evil. Some may bark at this like any new technology, but I think it’s something that I’d welcome it context with verifying e-commerce transactions.

    Other apple patents as noted in the report could combine a fingerprint and eye scan. Apple shows an eye in their Retina display logo. Maybe that’s going to one of the surprises to Apple’s application.

  2. I think this will also tie in with Find My iPhone, Mac, etc. You will be able to turn it on remotely and the device will be useless to any thief. Also, might even be an option to unlock instead of using a passcode.

    1. might even be an option to unlock instead of using a passcode.

      Lord help us! Let’s hope NOT!

      Modern security consists of at least TWO factors when logging in, NEVER just one. Those two factors are:

      1) Something you KNOW. This would include a password.

      2) Something you HAVE. This would include the ‘dongle’ concept, such as a YubiKey. It would also include your fingerprints.

      If fingerprints are EVER used as a one factor security authorization, you have my specific permission to SHOOT IN THE HEAD whoever came up with that asinine idea. It most certainly will NOT be Apple. They know better. 😕

  3. Could be in the home button for the iphone and on the screen for the iwatch… Of course it could also be on the screen for both. Wonder when it’ll show up under the touchpad in macbooks and under the mouse surface for Macs?

  4. This is going to be fundamental to making the iWatch a powerful and useful device acting as your pass, identification and wallet in both business and social environments assuming any of us have any electronic money left to use anyway.

  5. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t have a passcode set to lock their phone! But I would prefer to just swipe to unlock and the screen detect my thumb print.

    1. NOT AGAIN!

      Please read my wise teachings above about TWO and THREE Factor Authentication.

      Woe unto any who would log into their phone with a mere fingerprint. Stealing fingerprints is child’s play these days.

  6. Sheesh. Again with the MythDirection ‘Illuminati’ crap. Total lameness.

    Anonymous ‘Armando’: Seek thee tangible sources. Refrain thee from abstract diversions that only serve to hide the ACTUAL sources.

    1. Example ‘Armando’:

      On 9/11 we were told the abstraction that airplanes can cause fortified skyscrapers to fall down to the ground at the speed of acceleration of any mass within the gravitational field strength of Earth, even if the plane didn’t actually hit the building. That of course is bullshit.

      Therefore, seek thee factual information instead. Here is one source:

      And you don’t have to go all flighty and conspiracy theory loony to discover the blatant logic in this grounded OTHER explanation. No lunacy required. What’s lunacy is the BS we were ‘officially’ handed on 9/11.

      Seek thee facts and ye shall find…

  7. Very good. A feature that will be really cool. But I bet Goosung is working in their basement right now to copy this. I test some of my friends Goosung phones every now and then and I get amazed when undiscover features that Apple launched copied right into the Crapdroid OS, there is really no shame. And normal users won’t know anything and probably don’t care about how came up with it first… I am sure Apple’s new features in iOS 7 fast will be copied by Google and integrated into Crapdroid. I get so sad when I see behaviour like this.

  8. yet another myth from the two factor authentication club. you dont need more than one form of authentication when it comes to a fingerprint. this is a stupid tireless argument. first of all it doesnt matter if people steal your fingerprints, that is the whole POINT of biometrics. it only WORKS if you are touching the phone at the same time. your fingerprinters are not going to do you any good if you do not have their phone. who is going to willingly give you their phone to break into? stupid. second of all, if someone was fortunate enough to have that persons phone, and their fingerprint. they dont need the fingerprint to steal the data. they can just take a hammer to it and break open the phone and take the hard drive. doh!

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