By Stephen Schenck | March 11, 2013 3:58 PM
Fingerprint scanning has been around forever, popping up on devices even back in the Windows Mobile days, but it’s largely fallen off the grid in recent years. Might the time be right for a comeback? We turn to the latest iPhone rumors to learn how, with claims that the iPhone 5S could feature both a fingerprint scanner and innate NFC abilities.
This info comes from a new report in The China Times, but thanks to the questionable machine translation, it’s a bit hard to interpret. What details we were able to glean include that this fingerprint scanner could be related to Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec last summer, and could be tied to the phone’s NFC abilities. Rather than the PIN-based authentication used to verify payments by the likes of Google Wallet, Apple’s system may require the presence of the account holder’s fingerprint.
Of course, we’re curious what this could mean for the handset’s design, as NFC seems incompatible with the aluminum construction of the iPhone 5; for a device called the 5S, we’d largely expect its design to remain intact. This also raises questions about how Apple would tie this functionality into a mobile payment system. After all, Google hasn’t had much luck with only MasterCard at its back, and the other credit card companies seem happy to go their own way. If this turns out to have any fact in it, we’d be well curious to lean with whom Apple would affiliate itself.