The iPhone 5 is still just weeks old, but already Apple appears to be looking to the future. The next iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 6, could feature a fingerprint scanner for enhanced security. thanks to a deal Apple just finalized with a company that specializes in fingerprint and biometric security.
According to The Australian, Apple is working with Microlatch, and Australian tech company, to develop fingerprint sensor technology that would work with a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip to provide enhanced security for your smartphone. The new also indicates that next iPhone may finally include an NFC chip in its internal design, a feature that many hoped to see in the iPhone 5.
The Australian provides bit of background on this previously unknown company:
The five-year-old company, Microlatch, has been backed by investors led by former Commonwealth Bank chief David Murray, who famously blamed the technology sector for the collapse of the US economy in 2002.
According to ZDNET, Microlatch is of crucial importance thanks to several important patents they own regarding fingerprint sensor security.
Back in July, Reuters reported that Apple had filed regulatory documents hinting at the application of "a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product." However, the filing failed to specify which Apple device the sensor is being designed for, leaving open the possibility that fingerprint sensors will debut on iPads or Mac computers instead of with the latest iPhone.
This isn't the first time Apple has hinted at a move towards fingerprint security. Several months ago, the Cupertino-based company bought AuthenTec, another business specializing in fingerprint sensors technology, for $365 million.
The news prompted some tech analysts and consumers to predict that the iPhone 5 would feature the fingerprint sensor technology, but the futuristic security feature ever materialized. Now it seems like Apple is already preparing to unleash the new technology with the next generation of iPhones.
Apple typically releases an updated iPhone once each year, so the iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5S or whatever they end up calling it) is probably a ways away. However, we can't help but hope that Apple is already preparing to wow us with an iPhone 6 featuring fingerprint sensor technology.