Apple Reportedly Working with Australian Firm Microlatch on Fingerprint Recognition

Even as AuthenTec's board of directors appears to moving toward approval of Apple's $356 million acquisition of the fingerprint sensor chip company, a new report suggests that Apple is also drawing on other expertise to assist with its mobile payments effort. According to The Australian (subscription required), Apple has signed a deal to work with Australian firm Microlatch on similar fingerprint recognition technology for integration with mobile payments via near field communications (NFC).

microlatch logo
Word of the deal comes from David Murray, former head of the Commonwealth Bank and a lead investor in Microlatch.

Mr Murray said the company had an agreement with the notoriously secretive Apple to develop fingerprint technology for use in near-field communications applications.

Microlatch has patented fingerprint identification technology that meets banking security standards without the need for central processing or storage; a process Mr Murray described as "self-registering".

Details on Apple's partnership with Microlatch remain unknown, but it is clear that Apple is interested in fingerprint recognition and mobile payment technology. The company has, however, been employing a "go-slow approach" to mobile payments as it examines the potential of the technology and toys with various options for implementing it.

NFC has been a relatively frequent topic for rumors in relation to the iPhone, with some expecting that it might even make it into the 2011 version of the device. Despite numerous rumors about NFC peaking in early 2011, Apple elected not to include it in the iPhone 4S and even decided against bringing NFC to the redesigned iPhone 5 this year.

Top Rated Comments

ghsDUDE Avatar
131 months ago
No more passcode lock...right when I click the home button it recognizes my finger and unlocks...SWEET!

Here's to keeping my thumbs intact.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
osx11 Avatar
131 months ago
Biometric security would def give me some peace of mind to put some financial apps on my phone. I don't trust the pass code system, 4 numbers is easy to crack.

You do know that you can make a more complex password with all characters.

Just go to settings and turn 'simple passcode' off.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
131 months ago
No more passcode lock...right when I click the home button it recognizes my finger and unlocks...SWEET!

Here's to keeping my thumbs intact.

Damn, what insult to injury, imagine loosing your finger in an accident and not being able to call 911 because you need that finger to unlock your phone?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SavMBP15 Avatar
131 months ago
Damn, what insult to injury, imagine loosing your finger in an accident and not being able to call 911 because you need that finger to unlock your phone?

Nope. All cell phones (at least in the US) are required to allow the user to call 911 (emergency services) without unlocking the phone. So you are safe still.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bandalay Avatar
131 months ago
Duh?

Why on earth would my phone need fingerprint recognition?
When your phone becomes your credit card, bank account and passport, you'll definitely want something that connects it more closely to "you".

'Cause that's where this thing is going.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Laird Knox Avatar
131 months ago
Have the Maps team fix the map data. Until that's done, I could care less about other technology. The iPhone needs to excel at the things it's supposed to be able to do now before they start adding other cool features.

Good idea. Everybody stop working until the maps team is done!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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