iPhone 5s Fingerprint Sensor Provides Lots of App Possibilities
The new iPhone 5S Fingerprint Sensor is an exciting thing for iOS Mobile App Developers. It’s called the Touch ID, and it allows your iPhone 5S to identify who you are simply by your fingerprint pressing the Home button.
The initial implementation allows Apple (and only Apple) to quickly identify and verify the user, and allow things like App purchases and Device Unlock capabilities without requiring a password. This type of fingerprint technology isn’t new, of course, but the application of it has typically been mostly tied to things like opening doors, unlocking cars, or, you know, checking to see if you’re a criminal. In ways that are narrowly focused, and somewhat costly to implement.
On a very base level, most of us struggle with basic internet security. Keeping track of logins, account numbers, and passwords can be a real hassle. You’re not supposed to use the same password for every login – but if you don’t, how can you be expected to remember hundreds or thousands of passwords? It leads one to wonder – why don’t computers come with fingerprint sensors already? Imagine if the next Apple Notebook had this technology, and it integrated with a browser. From now on, your fingerprint can log you into any website you want. Your bank account. Your Facebook account. Your email account.
This isn’t without challenges, of course, and it remains to be seen how the industry adapts to potential security vulnerabilities in fingerprint sensors. Having any unified system for security means if that one system fails, lots of information can be compromised. That which makes it simple also makes it dangerous.
In the meantime, iOS developers are chomping at the bit to find ways to use this. Apple has given a fairly firm ‘NO’ when asked if this capability in iOS will be opened up to third party App Developers. And we can understand some of the reasons for this – both in terms of privacy and security.
With that in mind, though, logic dictates that the demand for this technology is going to drive Apple’s thinking. A firm no today may not be a firm no tomorrow. Customers are going to want the convenience that this brings, and App Developers are going to find awesome new ways to use it. Once your phone knows exactly who’s using it, content can be delivered in very targeted ways. User profiles can exist – Kids see only certain Apps, Adults see other Apps. Photos can be locked based on user profiles. Advertisers can deliver content based on who is viewing it. You could see Apps that integrate into a home security system. And so on.
The only question is – when will Apple let Mobile App Developers use their shiny new Fingerprint Sensor?