“By adding a fingerprint scanner to its newest mobile phone, Apple Inc is offering a tantalising glimpse of a future where your favourite gadget might become a biometric pass to the workplace, mobile commerce or real-world shopping and events,” Jeremy Wagstaff and Malathi Nayak report for Reuters. “Although Apple’s executives said at Tuesday’s launch that its Touch ID technology embedded into the iPhone 5S’ home button would only provide fingerprint access to the phone and its own online stores, analysts said Apple’s embrace of such technology, called biometrics, would be key to wider adoption. ‘It really propels biometrics into the mainstream,’ said specialist Alan Goode, the UK-based managing director of research consultancy Goode Intelligence.”
“Apple’s move may not have an immediate impact beyond improving the way users unlock their devices and interact with Apple services like iTunes and its App Store. But that is itself a significant step. Apple has more than 500 million iTunes accounts. Anything that increases security and removes steps in the payment process is bound to boost online purchases,” Wagstaff and Nayak report. “Users afraid of using their mobile device to make purchases online or in the real world because they fear it will be stolen or their password seen may feel liberated using a fingerprint, said Michael Chasen, CEO of SocialRadar, which is building location-based mobile applications for social networking. For mobile commerce, he said, that could ‘be the missing piece.'”
Wagstaff and Nayak report, “Beyond the web, Apple could combine the Touch ID with its existing ‘Passbook’ app that stores coupons, tickets to events and boarding passes on an iPhone and allow event organizers and airline companies to validate those documents, said Sebastien Taveau, chief technology officer at California-based Validity Sensors, which makes sensors for other manufacturers. ‘Apple wants to make deals with music and entertainment companies with very strong opinions on digital rights management,’ Taveau said. The fingerprint scanner, when used in transactions with these companies, could ‘reassure all these industries.'”
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