iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Details Surface; Sweaty Fingers Not Allowed
September 12, 2013 10:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Paramount Pictures)
A crook can't cut off your finger and access your iPhone
One of the biggest features that Apple announced on new
during its event earlier this week was the Touch ID system. Apple has now offered more details on Touch ID that may help some that are concerned about privacy feel better.
Apple says that the scanner doesn't store actual images of the user's fingerprint on the device. Instead, the ID system stores "fingerprint data" which remains encrypted inside the iPhone’s 64-bit A7 processor.
Wall Street Journal
reports that even if someone cracked the encryption chip, it would be highly unlikely that they could reverse engineer someone's fingerprint from the digital signature. Apple also says that it won't allow third-party applications to use the fingerprint scanner for the time being, and people who use Touch ID also have to create a passcode as a backup.
One important aspect of the Touch ID system is that the passcode must be used to unlock the phone if the device is rebooted or hasn't been unlocked and 48 hours. With all that said, the iPhone fingerprint scanner doesn't work perfectly. For instance, testers have said that the device doesn't work well if your fingers are damp from sweat, water, or lotion.
Apple even went so far as to point out that if a criminal hacked off your finger, they would be unable to unlock your phone. Apple says the Touch ID sensor searches for vitality signs to ensure that the finger is attached to the hand of a living person.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/12/2013 2:05:05 PM
If it doesn't work when fingers are wet then it looks like it is some type of capacitive sensor or maybe an array. Depending on the resolution i would expect it would be hard to reproduce a fingerprint if it measures capacitance. If it is using capacitance i would expect it would have a large margin to account for changes in the capacitance
9/12/2013 2:14:38 PM
Yes it's a capacitive sensor. It reads minor variances in the underlying structure of the flesh underneath your fingertip as you slide it over the scanner.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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