Apple patents some interesting-sounding fingerprint scanning tech

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One of the more unusual rumors to attach itself to the iPhone 5S has been this talk of giving the phone a fingerprint scanner. We’ve heard a number of theories on both why Apple might want to do such a thing and how it could hope to implement it. While we’ve got some serious doubts about the utility of such a feature, the general thread to unravel thus far has described some sort of integration with a mobile payment system, and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the phone’s home button. Now a new Apple patent is suggesting another way it might hope to make a fingerprint-scanning iPhone a reality.

Rather than putting the sensor in the home button, nor cluttering up the phone’s design with a separate scanner, this patent describes a system that uses the phone’s own screen as fingerprint scanner.

It sounds like a fantastically elegant solution, but it may be just a little ahead of its time. After all, there’s a world of difference between describing the functionality of such a system in a patent application and developing the technology into a state that’s ready for mass production. That makes us hesitant to expect seeing this on the iPhone 5S, but that doesn’t mean that fingerprint scanning couldn’t arrive in a different form.

Source: USPTO
Via: 9to5 Mac

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!