Scott Moody and Dale Setlak founded Athentec in 1999. They set up an office on the Indian River in Melbourne, Florida - it was a hit. Moreover, they were working on an impressive technology that was an offshoot from a Harris Semiconductor. They were working on a fingerprint sensor found within silicon. The device can recognize RF signals from the skin's live epidermal layer. This unique technology which allowed millions of people to secure their identity is the same idea that brought Apple's TouchID to life.
Just like the biometric scanners so crucial in many of today's highly secured institutions and businesses, the TouchID on Apple's iPhone 5s offers businesses great opportunities. Nothing secures a gadget like the person's own DNA makeup.
What made the technology from Authentec stand out is that it cannot be spoofed. It cannot be cheated like capacitance or optical technologies. However, there is still the idea whether fake silicon fingers can fool the sensor. When Apple bought Authentic for $356 last year, this proved that the technology is impossible to fool.
If Apple was willing to bet more than $300 million on it then it might be worth checking out.
Wired's Chris Fleck reports that his encounter with Athentec founder meant it was something big. The technology can finally reconcile user convenience and security requirements. Similar to some major innovations, it took years for some tech wonders to really make an impact.
Apple's TouchID is still too young to judge. Nonetheless, the security features does offer a range of opportunities but also a series of concerns. For instance, it makes it harder to hack into a phone with the added biometrics. However, some features may be more difficult to use with the scanner in place. For example, a number of biometric chips previously made into laptops and mobile handsets such as he Atrix.
Door locks also featured fingerprint scanners. Because of the difficulty some people experience in using their devices or proceeding with their tasks smoothly, this promoted the options of disabling the feature. Apple can suffer from the same thing.
The company wants to change just that. Just like other products on the market, a company does not have to the inventor for a technology to hit. It comes down to user experience - especially on tech products. The iPhone 5s and its TouchID have a potential to rise. For example, there are online or smartphone payment systems now. If the fingerprint feature will be used with apps requiring identify confirmation creatively, it can be a really big hit.
Many companies can choose iPhone 5s as a coroporate-issued device. This allows firms to secure more of their work and prevent theft and unlawful disclosure of trade secrets. The fingerprint scanner is a "magic" button waiting to be discovered.
Apple just needs to find a way to sell it creatively and innovatively.
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