This week brought with it many cheers of self-congratulation, pats on the back, high-fives and contemplative staring at fingers as Apple revealed what we all saw coming from a mile away: the next proper iPhone (that is not the plastic iPhone 5C but the iPhone 5S) has, nested right into its home button the Touch ID Sensor, a capacitive fingerprint sensor that will be replacing lock-screen PINs and authenticating iTunes and Appstore transactions.
As it does whenever Tim Cook and his band of California technology innovators take to the stage, the mainstream media practically lit on fire as it burned so brightly with commentary on what Apple did right and what it did wrong. The jury still seems to be out on what the overall state of the Steve Jobs empire currently is, with the cost of Apple shares dropping the next day and some media outlets speculating as to whether this is the beginning of the end of iLife. The one thing that does seem to be gathering in to a ubiquitously held opinion however, is that Touch ID is the beginning of what will be the mainstreaming of biometrics. Peter O’Neill, findBIOMETRICS president, chatted with the CBC on the topic, the day of the event.
The cry for new alternatives to PINs and passwords didn’t just come from a popular Keynote presentation however, today LaserLock announced that it has filed a provisional patent for a new three factor logical access control aimed at protecting and verifying the identities of online gamers. With other expected applications in account management and finance, LaserLock’s new system combines smartphone and tablet features, such as the front-facing camera, with biometrics facial biometrics and gesture technology.
Speaking of front-facing cameras: EyeVerify, champions of eyeprint technology that leverages native hardware in mobile devices to grant virtual access announced that its eye-based mobile ID technology, as a part of AirWatch’s demonstrations in Atlanta this week as a part of the company’s mobility expo.
As far as big conferences go, the banner waving of the anti-password army will be marching its way down to Tampa, Florida next week as the biometric and mobile ID industries gather for the Biometrics UnPlugged: Mobility Rules conference and the Biometric Consortium Conference 2013. Among the many presenters and companies that will be showcasing their various entries in the race to the PIN-less future will be Lumidigm, whose multi-spectral fingerprint scanning technology is featured on the Rhino Touch device that is being installed in approximately 400 ports to give maritime transportation workers unescorted access to secure areas during the pickup process.
Be sure to follow @MobileIDWorld on Twitter for live reporting form both Tampa events, and to check back here for daily roundups of any news you may have missed.