Touch ID

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Touch ID is Apple's biometric fingerprint recognition system, used to verify Apple Pay payments and to supplement device passcodes and in-app passwords. First introduced in 2013, Touch ID is built into the Home buttons of the iPhone 5s through iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the iPad mini 3 and later, the iPad Air 2 and later, 2017 and 2018 iPad models, and the 2015 through 2017 iPad Pro. Touch ID is also present on recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.

Starting with the iPhone X in 2017, Apple began shifting away from Touch ID in favor of Face ID for authentication, and the iPad Pro followed suit in 2018.

Touch ID is built around a capacitive touch sensor that can read and analyze sub-epidermal skin layers to identify each person's unique fingerprint to make tasks like downloading apps and unlocking iOS devices more convenient. Touch ID is available in Apple's own apps and in third-party apps, allowing users to protect sensitive data like passwords or notes with a fingerprint.

Fingerprint data used for Touch ID is stored directly on each iOS device in a "Secure Enclave" and is never accessible in the cloud.

'Touch ID' How Tos

How to Discreetly Disable Touch ID and Face ID on an iPhone

There's an Emergency SOS feature built into iOS 11 that has hidden functionality -- it automatically disables Touch ID and makes it so your passcode has to be entered to unlock your iPhone. Because it essentially shuts down the biometrics on your device, you can't be compelled by a police officer or malicious person to unlock your iPhone with a fingerprint, nor can your fingerprint be used to get into your device should you be unconscious after an emergency. On iPhone X, this also applies to Face ID. Emergency SOS is enabled by default, and there's only one step to activate it: Press on the sleep/wake (Side) button of your iPhone five times in rapid succession. On the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, instead of pressing the Side button five times rapidly, you hold down the Side button and one of the volume buttons at the same time. It's essentially a quick squeeze on either side of the device. These gestures initiates a screen that gives you the option to power the iPhone off, make a call to emergency services, or access your Medical ID. Though not expressly stated, once your iPhone is in this emergency state, Touch ID is disabled. You will, however, have to press the cancel button to get back to the Home screen, so it's not an entirely secretive process. If you're using Emergency SOS to disable the lock screen and don't want to set the feature up to automatically call 911 when the sleep/wake button is pressed, make sure to disable Auto Call in the Settings app. Here's how: Open the Settings app. Scroll down to Emergency SOS. Disable Auto

How to Password Protect Notes in iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4

Although more prominent features like Night Shift and a few new Quick Actions are getting the spotlight with the launch of iOS 9.3, one new lesser-known update is definitely worth checking out. In iOS 9.3, Apple has improved the functionality of its first-party Notes app with the ability to add password or Touch ID security for individual notes. The feature allows users to prevent access to sensitive information on a case-by-case basis (some notes, like a shopping list, might not be as high risk), just in case someone gets past the lock screen security of the iPhone itself. With some people even using Notes to store passwords for various sites and services, Apple's security-enhanced update is well worth checking out. Creating a Password in Notes on iOS The steps needed to set up a password or Touch ID for your Notes are straight-forward and should only take a few moments to complete.

'Touch ID' Articles

Apple Promotes Face ID as Even Easier and More Secure Than Touch ID in Humorous New iPhone Ad

Apple's latest iPhone ad humorously demonstrates how Face ID is more convenient and secure than Touch ID for user authentication. Timed with midsummer, the 30-second spot depicts a man napping on a reclining lounger in a backyard. After receiving a trio of iMessage notifications on his iPhone XR, he slowly raises the lounger to line up his face with the iPhone and unlocks the device with Face ID, all while continuing to lay down. The messages come from a friend named Craig, who asks the man if he still plans to come around, suggesting that the two had made plans together. Instead, the man promptly returns to his nap alongside his dog. The ad is aptly titled "Nap" and features the song "Nice" by Grammy Award-winning DJ Latroit. Face ID debuted on the iPhone X in 2017. At the time, Apple said the probability that a random person could unlock someone else's iPhone X was approximately one in 1,000,000, versus one in 50,000 for Touch ID. The ad is part of Apple's ongoing "That's iPhone" marketing campaign promoting both hardware and software features of the device, such as iMessage encryption, App Store privacy, iPhone material recycling, and water resistance. "Face ID is even easier and more secure than Touch ID. That's iPhone." Update 1:40 pm: Apple has also released a new short feature-focused ad with a similar tagline emphasizing that Face ID is more secure than Touch ID.

2020 iPhones May Have Full-Screen Touch ID, New iPhone SE Based on iPhone 8 Also Possible Next Year

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates today shared their expectations for both 2019 and 2020 model iPhones following their trip to Asia earlier this month, where they met with some suppliers within Apple's supply chain. MacRumors render of 2019 iPhones with triple-lens rear cameras Our summary of the research note, shared with MacRumors:The trio of high-end 2019 iPhones will have relatively few design changes, beyond additional rear camera lenses, with production set to ramp up in the typical July-August timeframe 3D Touch will be eliminated in all 2019 iPhones as Barclays previously predicted, possibly signaling a Haptic Touch expansion The next-generation iPhone XR will have 4GB of RAM, up from 3GB, as previously predicted by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo 2020 iPhones will have more significant changes, including 5G support, 3D sensing via the rear camera system, and acoustic fingerprint technology that could allow for full-screen Touch ID "A few suppliers" mentioned a potential "iPhone SE 2" with iPhone 8 internals in early 2020, but others had no knowledge of it LG may become a secondary supplier of OLED displays for 2019 iPhones, with a 10-30 percent split of orders with Samsung, ahead of Apple transitioning all of its iPhones to OLED as early as 2020Other rumors have suggested that 2019 iPhones will feature frosted glass casing, larger batteries, and a bilateral charging feature that allows users to charge AirPods or an Apple Watch by placing them on the back of the iPhone. Apple will likely

Popularity of OLED Smartphones With In-Display Fingerprint Scanners Continues to Grow in 2019

The popularity of OLED smartphones with in-display fingerprint sensors will continue to gather pace in 2019, DigiTimes reports this morning, despite Apple's decision to move away from the technology in favor of face recognition. Citing industry sources, the report says that rising popularity for fingerprint scanners in smartphone screens is being driven by a reduction in sensor prices and the price gap between OLED and LCD panels. The market size of OLED panels with in-display fingerprint sensors has expanded significantly as handset vendors including Samsung Electronics, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have extended the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensing technology from the premium smartphones to mid-range models, said the sources. The introduction of optical fingerprint sensing solutions by vendors including Synaptics and Goodix Technology in 2018, which came with more competitive pricing and fitted with the prevailing all-screen display design for smartphones, has helped bring down overall prices of in-display fingerprint sensor chips and therefore further drive up the popularity of such a technology, said the sources.Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, but the company's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio later said it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID. Apple has since done away with fingerprint recognition entirely in its flagship smartphone lineup, which includes the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and LCD-based iPhone XR.

Police Can't Force You to Unlock an iPhone Using Face ID or Touch ID, California Judge Rules

Law enforcement officials can't force smartphone users to unlock their devices using fingerprints or other biometric features such as facial recognition, according to a Northern California court ruling from last week. The ruling, which was shared this morning by Forbes, was the result of an Oakland investigation into possible extortion. Police officers asked the court for permission to seize multiple devices and then compel the suspects to unlock the devices using biometric authentication. The court said that there was indeed probable cause to grant a search warrant, but that it was denied because the request to force the suspects to unlock their devices using biometric authentication "funs afoul of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments." From the ruling:The Government, however, also seeks the authority to compel any individual present at the time of the search to press a finger (including a thumb) or utilize other biometric features, such as facial or iris recognition, for the purposes of unlocking the digital devices found in order to permit a search of the contents as authorized by the search warrant. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Government's request funs afoul of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and the search warrant application must be DENIED.In further analysis, the court equated biometric authentication to a passcode rather than something like submitting to a DNA swab. It has been previously established that under the Fifth Amendment, a suspect cannot be compelled to provide the passcode of a device. Biometric features like Touch

One Analyst Thinks the Next iPhone Will Have a USB-C Port, Smaller Notch, and Touch ID Under Display

At least one new iPhone released in 2019 will sport a USB-C port, smaller notch, and the return of Touch ID under the display, according to Jean Baptiste Su, Vice-President and Principal Analyst at consulting firm Atherton Research. Su shared his prediction in a Forbes column about Apple lowering its revenue guidance for the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year:Although we believe that Apple will release a re-designed iPhone X in 2019—with a smaller notch, a fingerprint reader (Touch ID) under the display, and a USB-C port—it will still lack the extensibility (memory card), the battery life, the lightning-fast charging capability, and the camera quality of Android flagship smartphones while being more expensive.This is the first Apple rumor we've ever heard from Su, and the Forbes contributor network has published its fair share of questionable content about Apple in recent years, so treat this rumor with a healthy dose of skepticism. Many analysts not named Ming-Chi Kuo simply make guesses — and not always educated ones. Let's imagine these features prove to be true, though, and examine what that would mean for the next iPhone:USB-C: For many years, critics believed Apple would never switch to USB-C on its iOS devices, and then it did exactly that with the 2018 iPad Pro. Will the iPhone follow suit this year? Notorious supply chain publication DigiTimes seems to think so, so Su is not alone in his prediction.With many of the latest Macs equipped with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, which share the USB-C connector design, moving from Lightning to USB-C on the iPhone

Hands-On With the In-Screen Fingerprint Technology in the New OnePlus 6T

Back before the iPhone X came out, there were rumors suggesting Apple would do away with the Home button by implementing Touch ID under the display of the device, preserving the fingerprint sensor while allowing for an edge-to-edge display. That didn't end up happening and Apple ultimately replaced Touch ID with Face ID, but since then, other companies have implemented in-display fingerprint recognition technology. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. OnePlus recently unveiled its new OnePlus 6T, one of the first commercially available smartphones in the United States that's using in-screen fingerprint recognition technology. We were able to get our hands on one of the new smartphones to see if Apple is missing out on anything with its Face ID implementation. There are instances where a fingerprint sensor offers benefits over facial recognition. Face ID, for example, doesn't work well when you're laying in bed and the phone is held in landscape or when an iPhone is flat on a desk. With a fingerprint sensor, those are non-issues. Fingerprint sensors have their own problems, though, and as we discovered with the OnePlus 6T, in-display fingerprint technology isn't as great as it sounds. OnePlus' implementation is slow and inaccurate, a major negative compared to Face ID. With the OnePlus 6T, you need to make sure to place your finger in the designated spot on the display for your fingerprint to be recognized, and sometimes you need to hold it there for what seems like a long time before it reads the fingerprint. Touch ID and Face ID both

Synaptics Creating In-Display Fingerprint Sensors for 'Top Five OEM'

Synaptics today announced that it has begun mass production of its Clear ID FS9500 optical in-display fingerprint sensors in partnership with a "top five" manufacturer, suggesting at least one major smartphone brand will sport in-display fingerprint sensing technology in the future. Synaptics has been working on fingerprint sensors capable of reading a fingerprint through display glass for some time now, and its first product, the Clear ID-FS9100, was announced back in late 2016. The updated Clear ID-FS9500 fingerprint sensors are designed specifically for smartphones with button-free bezel-free "infinity displays" much like the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8. Synaptics says its fingerprint sensors "magically activate" in the display when necessary, and the company believes its solution is "twice as fast as 3D facial recognition." The Synaptics fingerprint sensor works well with wet, dry, and cold fingers, and because it's located under the display glass, the sensor is scratch proof and waterproof. In response to facial recognition, which can fail at certain angles, Synaptics points out that its fingerprint solution works when a device is "sitting on the table, at any angle, or while in a car mount." Synaptics did not specify which smartphone manufacturer it is working with beyond naming a "top five" OEM, so the company's partner is a mystery. While Synaptics is a known Apple supplier that has provided Apple with display components in the past, it's likely Synaptics is referring to an Android manufacturer. Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei are all

Craig Federighi: Apple Focused on Single-User Face ID, Touch ID Was Never Intended for Multiple Users

Apple's current focus with Face ID is on single-user authentication, suggesting support for multiple faces won't be added in the near future, according to an email from the company's software engineering chief Craig Federighi. By comparison, Touch ID can store up to five fingerprints, and each of those fingerprints can belong to a different person. This allows a married couple, for example, to be able to securely authenticate a single iPhone. In an email to a customer, however, Federighi admitted that Touch ID's multi-finger support has always been intended for a single iPhone owner to authenticate with a finger or thumb on both the left and right hand if desired. Federighi added that Face ID could eventually authenticate multiple faces as the system evolves in the future, but his email makes it clear that Apple doesn't have any immediate plans to implement said functionality. MacRumors since publishing this article has received full headers that verify this email, originally shared on Reddit. We can confirm the email originates from Apple's servers at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. A screenshot of Craig Federighi's alleged email response to a customer Apple says Face ID has a one in 1,000,000 chance of a false match, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID, although the probability is higher among identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children. Vietnamese security firm Bkav has also been able to spoof Face ID twice with 3D printed masks, but the steps involved are quite complex and this isn't something the average user should be

Galaxy S9 Will Likely Still Have Rear Fingerprint Scanner as Apple Rumored to Ditch Touch ID Entirely

Samsung has decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of its next-generation Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to continued technical difficulties, according to South Korea's The Investor. Instead, the fingerprint scanner will likely remain positioned on the back of each device, just like the current Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models. Fingerprint scanning is one of three biometric options for unlocking the Galaxy S8 alongside iris scanning and facial recognition. Samsung says all three solutions provide "defense-grade security" around the clock. Shortly after the Galaxy S8 launched, however, videos surfaced showing that Samsung's facial recognition system could be fairly easily duped with a picture of someone. The iris scanner was also tricked with contact lenses. In fine print on its website, Samsung admits that its facial recognition system is "less secure than pattern, PIN, or password." Facial recognition can't be used to authenticate access to the Galaxy S8's Secure Folder or Samsung Pay. "It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder," the company told Ars Technica in March. Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but the company's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face

Apple Store App Now Supports Touch ID For Authenticating Payments With Apple ID

Apple today updated its official Apple Store shopping app with the ability to use Touch ID to securely and conveniently pay for an order with a credit card tied to an Apple ID, as well as make changes to account settings. The Apple Store app has long allowed shoppers to pay for purchases with the credit card associated with their Apple ID, but users needed to type their password for authentication. Now, users can simply use Touch ID. To pay with a credit card associated with an Apple ID at checkout, tap on the white "buy with other payment options" button. Apple said the new Apple Store app also makes its easier to see if an iPhone you want is available at an Apple Store near you. The Apple Store app is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, iPad, and Apple

TSMC Sources Claim 'iPhone 8' Will Have Touch ID Integrated into Display

Apple has successfully finalized a solution to integrate Touch ID fingerprint recognition directly into the display of its upcoming "iPhone 8", according to a new report on Friday. Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) said it spoke to sources from Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), who apparently confirmed Apple's achievement during a technology convention held in Taipei on Thursday. Among several design changes TSMC reportedly discussed at the TSMC 2017 NA Technology Symposium was the lack of a home button on the redesigned OLED iPhone, owing to Apple's use of "an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen" in the absence of a physical Home button. In addition to the fingerprint recognition, the sources claimed the new iPhones will also come with "invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of the high-pixel camera" and to enable augmented reality functions. If true, news of Apple's on-screen fingerprint recognition solution will come as a relief to watchers tracking the development of Apple's "tenth anniversary" edition iPhone. Reports that the company has been researching ways to integrate fingerprint sensors directly into screens go as far back as June 2015, but more recent sources have claimed Apple has struggled to find a solution that overcomes the production challenges involved. Specifically, Apple was said to be facing low yield issues of its in-house fingerprint sensor solution, which may have been forcing it to consider three possible alternatives: remove

Rumors Persist About Apple Placing Touch ID on Back of iPhone 8

Apple's rumored "iPhone 8" with an OLED display and wireless charging will continue to have Touch ID, but there is a "high chance" it will be on the back of the smartphone, says Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA. "iPhone 8" mockup with rear Touch ID sensor by Benjamin Geskin An excerpt from a research note distributed this week by CLSA analysts Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen:iPhone to ditch fingerprint sensor? We don’t think so. Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck. Some thus speculate the fingerprint sensor will be removed and replaced by 3D sensing. Our latest supply chain checks indicate the iPhone 8 will still have the sensor given security, user-friendliness, and a need for payments infrastructure, but there is a high chance it will be on the back like Samsung's Galaxy S8.CLSA created a diagram showing Touch ID placed slightly below the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone. Samsung included a fingerprint sensor on the back of the Galaxy S8, but some reviews found it to be awkwardly positioned next to the camera. Apple placing Touch ID lower down could make it easier to reach. The diagram also shows a vertically-aligned dual-lens camera, a widely rumored iPhone 8 feature seen in previous renders. There also appear to be additional modules next to the front-facing camera, likely for rumored 3D sensing and facial recognition functionality. Other features shown are identical to the iPhone 7. The diagram suggests

MasterCard Reveals Credit Card With Built-In Fingerprint Sensor

MasterCard today unveiled a biometric chip-and-pin credit card featuring a built-in fingerprint sensor that takes cues from mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay. The card can be used to make purchases like any other, except rather than keying in a PIN number, card holders can choose to place their finger over the square sensor to approve the transaction. Alternatively, users can take a two-tier authentication approach and use both their PIN and fingerprint to approve the purchase. However, users of the card won't have the convenience or security that comes with registering their print with their smartphone. With Apple Pay, fingerprint data is encrypted and protected with a key available only to the Secure Enclave on the user's iPhone. The Secure Enclave is walled off from the rest of the hardware and the OS, meaning iOS and other apps never have access to user fingerprint data, it's never stored on Apple servers, and never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else. The biometric credit card has no such protections. Instead, the user must register their print with the bank or financial institution that issued the card, and while the fingerprint is encrypted on the card itself, it's still unclear what security and privacy measures are in place to deal with the registration process. Despite those concerns, Mastercard's chief of safety and security, Ajay Bhalla, said that the fingerprint technology was "not something that can be taken or replicated", and that the biometric card would help "to deliver additional convenience and security". MasterCard

iPhone 8 Without Touch ID Doubtfully Called One 'Likely Option' if Apple Can't Place It Under Display

Apple may be forced to eliminate Touch ID from the tentatively named "iPhone 8" altogether if it cannot resolve issues with integrating the fingerprint sensor underneath the smartphone's display within the next month or so, according to Andy Hargreaves, equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh Hargreaves isn't the first analyst to think Apple could do away with Touch ID, but the move seems unlikely even as a last-ditch scenario. Touch ID is at the core of Apple Pay, and it appears much more likely that 3D facial or iris recognition would complement rather than replace fingerprint sensing. A more likely option fielded by Hargreaves is that Apple could delay "iPhone 8" production until its under-display fingerprint sensor solution is ready. An excerpt from his research note obtained by MacRumors:Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it's able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it's not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.At this point, Hargreaves does not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has received firm orders for production, which to him suggests

Apple is Struggling to Integrate Touch ID Under the iPhone 8's Display

Apple's supposed "biggest bottleneck" in preparing to mass produce the rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display remains integrating Touch ID underneath the display, according to a research note from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri obtained by MacRumors. Arcuri, citing his own "field work" within the supply chain, said the current yield of Apple's in-house AuthenTec-based fingerprint sensor solution is low, while noting that Apple seems unwilling to use an outside solution at this time. If Apple cannot resolve these yield issues, he sees three different scenarios: • Apple removes Touch ID from the 5.8-inch iPhone entirely and relies solely on facial/iris recognition. Arcuri said this is unlikely, as it's not secure enough, risky, and would potentially create issues with Apple Pay. • Apple puts Touch ID on the back of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but in a different place than the one on the Galaxy S8, which can be hard to reach. Arcuri said this would not be a user-friendly or optimal solution to say the least. • Apple delays production of the 5.8-inch iPhone, but still announces the device in early September alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.Arcuri said Apple is aiming to finalize its fingerprint sensor specification by May, but if its in-house AuthenTec-based solution is not feasible due to yield issues, mass production of the tentatively named "iPhone 8" could be delayed until September, compared to its usual late July to August timeframe. Arcuri still expects Apple to announce the 5.8-inch iPhone alongside updated 4.7-inch

Apple Has a Redesigned Fingerprint ID Solution For the iPhone 8

Apple is set to feature its own in-house developed integrated fingerprint ID technology in the OLED version of its next iPhone, according to a new report out on Friday. Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8" is expected to feature a virtual home button embedded in the display, but questions persist over the role of Touch ID in such a radical redesign, as conflicting reports from analysts, rumors of biometric alternatives, and Apple patents abound. Today, DigiTimes cited industry sources claiming that an Apple-designed "built-in fingerprint sensor device" is indeed on the way, and will replace the traditional capacitive touch technology known as Touch ID. Apple has selected neither Synaptics' Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor nor Qualcomm's Sense ID fingerprint technology for its new OLED iPhones, and decided to use its own Authentec algorithm combined with Privaris glass identification technology to redesign a new fingerprint ID solution, according to industry sources.Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology originally came from AuthenTec, which Cupertino acquired in 2012, while the Privaris reference harks back to a patent portfolio Apple bought from the closed biometric security firm in June 2015 that included dozens of patents relating to fingerprint and touchscreen technology, including – in at least one example – the ability to use a touchscreen and fingerprint reader at the same time. DigiTimes has sources within Apple's supply chain, but it has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's unannounced product plans, so this latest report should be treated

New iPhone Patent Suggests Touch ID May Live on in a Different Form

One of the more contentious iPhone 8 rumors we've seen recently is the claim that with the removal of the Home button, Apple will ditch its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology and replace it with another form of bio-recognition hardware. While several possible alternatives have been put forward – such as iris scanning, facial recognition, and even a combination of technologies – each has its pros and cons, while it's still far from clear how Apple would implement them in a purportedly bezel-free OLED handset. On the other hand, it's possible that Apple plans to retain a fingerprint identification system in the context of a wider technology which doesn't rely on Touch ID as it is currently understood. A new Apple patent application published on Thursday and discovered by AppleInsider offers a case in point. The patent is called "Acoustic imaging system architecture" and describes a method by which a conventional capacitive sensor like Touch ID is replaced by an array of acoustic transducers laid out beneath an iPhone display or in its protective housing. Some embodiments describe the transducers as capable of generating acoustic waves, or pulses, which propagate through different substrates, including an iPhone's coverglass. A sensing mode then monitors reflections, attenuations, and diffractions in the sound waves caused by a foreign body – such as a finger – coming into contact with the responsive substrate. According to the filing, the ridges in a fingerprint create an identifiable acoustic impedance mismatch. The resulting scan data is

Apple Exploring Fingerprint Sensing MicroLED Displays Sans Touch ID

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent that describes a display capable of reading a user's fingerprint without a dedicated Touch ID sensor (via AppleInsider). The patent is interesting given current rumors swirling around the iPhone 8, which is expected to do away with the home button and integrate Touch ID directly into the display, but perhaps more noteworthy is the patent IP's re-assignment from LuxVue, a little-known company acquired by Apple in 2014 that developed low-power microLED-based displays. Titled "Interactive display panel with IR diodes", the patent details a touch display that uses specifically microLED-sensing technology, rather than the traditional active matrix hardware utilized by most consumer smartphones and tablets. The technology replaces larger capacitive sensors with smaller infrared light emitters and sensors, which sit alongside the RGB LED display substrate or on a microchip mounted to the substrate. These "interactive pixel" formations can then be calibrated to perform any number of functions, including ambient light sensing, proximity detection, and notably complex touch detection, which works by bouncing infrared light off a user's finger and back to the sensing diodes. In the latter operation, specific rows – or a whole portion of the display – scan for a user's finger, which generates a proximate positioning bitmap to inform the system of the target's location and immediate surround. Bitmaps can include data like the intensity of incoming light, enabling a deeper analysis of the object and its

'Unprecedented' Warrant Request Sought to Compel Individuals to Open Fingerprint-Locked Devices

In a new case that echoes Apple's past struggle with the FBI, the Department of Justice has been granted a warrant to search a home in Lancaster, California -- and all the smartphones inside of it -- for all "passwords, encryption keys, and other access devices that may be necessary to access" the various handsets and tablets discovered inside the location. Notably, this includes requiring every person inside the home to provide their fingerprints to the cops to bypass the biometric scanners of each device (via Forbes). Filed May 9, 2016, a section of the warrant reads: “authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.” An anonymous person located at the home in question avoided providing details of the crime in question, but they did indicate that the warrant has been served. The person claimed that they did not know about the specifics of the warrant's parameters until it was served to them, and they are "trying to let this pass over" in the meantime. The case has been said to "shock" legal experts because of the legalese workaround used in the warrant. According to one expert, the government filed the warrant "on the assumption that they will learn more after they have a warrant," without providing any particulars as to what they plan to find at the home in question. This practice

Apple Researching Forensic Data Capture in Cases of iOS Device Theft

Apple is investigating ways that future iOS devices could store the biometric details of suspected criminals in cases of theft (via AppleInsider). An Apple patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes "Biometric capture for unauthorized user identification", by using an iPhone or iPad's Touch ID feature, camera, and other sensors. The proposed system augments typical Touch ID verification by capturing and storing information about a potential thief after six fingerprint unlocking attempts have failed and the wrong passcode is inputted 10 times (after which a "cool down" period or a complete data wipe is activated, depending on user setting). In another variation, a single failed authentication triggers the capture of fingerprint data and the device takes a picture of the user via the front-facing camera. In yet other embodiments, the system can be configured by the user to enable or disable various triggers and scenarios in which the biometric capture protocols are activated. The patent also specifies how other data could be logged in the background to supplement the biometric capture, including time stamps, device location, speed, air pressure, audio data, and more. Flowcharts illustrate different implementations of the security system. After capture, the data is stored either locally on the device or sent to a remote server for evaluation, while purges of data are activated when the system determines that it is no longer required. In suggested uses that are likely to be controversial, Apple describes how the server-side