Apple’s European Patent Points at NFC-Enabled Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone

Apple's iPhone 5 | Wikipedia

Apple’s iPhone 5 | Wikipedia

Apple’s European patent, which was discovered recently, describes a means of putting together a fingerprint scanner and near-field communication technology.

Derived from a US patent application that was filed last year, International Patent No. WO 2013/130396 A2 describes an “electronic device with shared near field communications and sensor structures.” This technology seems to align with what the industry pundits believe will be the main security feature of the next-generation iPhone.

It was noted that the European patent depicts a metal ring around the home button, which embeds the sensor. The said ring has showed up in purported packaging materials and on leaked components of the so-called iPhone 5S.

Other than unlocking the device and changing the security of iTunes transaction, for example, adding a fingerprint sensor could open new possibilities for the upcoming handset. This could include wireless lock functions, wireless data synching, security applications, as well as pairing it with headphones, interaction with vending machines, and verification of security badges. There’s also a possibility of using NFC data for a wireless payment.

Although the standard NFC technology is not without flaws, integrating it with a biometric sensing security could mitigate some of its known risks.

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