Fingerprint Protected

Written by 5ivecanons Staff

Many of us have heard the statistic that half of smart phone users keep their device within an arm’s reach at all times. It’s because our smart phones have become the vestibule for mostly all of the data in our lives. It has become a storage center for our information – the brain outside of our heads.

The New iPhone
Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5S and 5C yesterday, which was headline news, and has been for weeks – as new features were leaked. And as expected, people were as excited about the i5 launch as they are about Christmas.

The creators at Apple very obviously stayed in sync with their business model with this new phone. “Every component has been considered, it’s not just technology for technology’s sake.” The entirety of the phone was crafted to be useful, and to enhance user experience.

Apple was definitely not short-changed in one very important, very modern aspect to the phone’s function: the pass code. Apple created a feature that uses technology that scans your fingerprints to unlock the device and dubbed it ‘Touch ID.’

Current password protection technology comes in the form of “swiping” a screen in a particular pattern, or inputting a four number code. This proves too cumbersome for most smart phone users, seeing as how half of them forgo setting up security on their phones at all.

The fingerprint scanner is built directly into the home button. This allows iPhone users a fast, and secure way to safeguard their phone and even make purchases without the hassle of typing in a pass code each time.

This is how the technology works: The “button” is made of several layers. The first is a sapphire crystal which is one of the clearest and hardest materials available. Behind the sapphire lens is the 170 microns wide (a bit thicker than a strand of human hair) Touch ID sensor. The sapphire acts as a lens for the sensor which captures a high resolution image of your finger and processes it for 360 degree readability. The technology is even capable of picking up minor variations of the ridges of your fingerprints caused by pores and wear.

Surrounding the lens and Touch ID sensor is a steel ring which acts as a trigger for the Touch ID and senses whenever a finger is placed on the sapphire. The software is powerful enough to synthesize prints in any orientation, from any finger.

Touch ID technology sets a new precedent about security in our mobile devices. However, is putting security at the top of the must-have list the new norm?

Not Everyone is Singing Praises
Some say, Apple’s new feature is just a disaster waiting to happen. After all, stolen phones often come stock with people’s fingerprints on them. It wouldn’t be all that much harder to break into these phones. Also, some would argue that more security leads to people putting more information in their phones. So there’s more incentive to steal them.

So what does this all mean about where the smart phone is headed? Well, Apple’s stock dropped 4% today after the iPhone 5S proved to be more expensive than projected. But the stock that didn’t drop was that of the company who made the computer chips in the new iPhones – ARM’s stock went up 5%. Perhaps that gives us a glimpse at how the iPhone again takes current technology and makes it popular.