$27.5 million has already been paid upfront, just as part of negotiations, and a $356 million offer has been placed by Apple to acquire the entire AuthenTec company, with plans to incorporate the technology into their iOS devices.
AuthenTec are a leading provider of mobile security, embedding fingerprint scanning technology into almost any portable device available. I’m assuming that this would replace the lock system that is currently on the iOS devices.
Except that this isn’t the reason that Apple are so urgent to get their hands on the scanners. The new “Smart Scanner” acts as a sophisticated touch pad controller. The sensor is just 13.3mm wide and 3mm high, extruding from the device by 1.3mm.
In addition to being a security feature, and a touch pad, the Smart Scanner can also be used as a personalization tool, being capable of various different functions that act upon the use of different fingers. You could use your index finger to open a particular app, or your ring finger to call a particular contact – this type of technology could possibly replace the home button altogether.
There are concerns, though, that this would be replacing the touch screen. I feel that it would only enhance it, with higher precision text-editing and easier video scrubbing. The idea of a new, personalized home button is quite exciting to me, and I personally hope that this deal goes through. If not, then perhaps I’ll consider getting one installed by the company personally.
I can’t really see the downside to this product. Does anyone just see this being a hassle? I’d like to know what you guys think about this one.