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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:18 AM   #1
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AuthenTec Sells Off Embedded Security Systems, Leaving FingerPrint Technology for Apple




NFCWorld reports that AuthenTec has sold off its Embedded Security Solutions (ESS) division to a company called Inside Secure for $48 million, leaving Apple with its fingerprint sensors and identity management assets.
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Authentec's Embedded Security Solutions (ESS) division designs, develops and sells a range of embedded security solutions, centered on the use of encryption algorithms and security blocks to protect data and ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability.
TechCrunch suggests one of the reasons for the sell off of this non-core technology is to avoid any regulatory hurdles in the AuthenTec acquisition.
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If the initial Reuters report of the acquisition remains accurate, it recoups investment on parts of the business which aren't essential to Apple's plans. It also ensures that once any deal is finalized, there will be less to worry about in terms of Apple gaining undue control over tech essential to the securing of its competitors products, which might raise red flags with regulators
Apple had been reported to have acquired AuthenTech back in July for $356 million. Speculation had already claimed that Apple was primarily interested in AuthenTec's fingerprint scanning technology for future devices. Several current customers of AuthenTec's fingerprint sensors were already been forced to quickly look for alternative suppliers.

Article Link: AuthenTec Sells Off Embedded Security Systems, Leaving FingerPrint Technology for Apple
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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I wish apple would use fingerprint readers on their MBP.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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I wish apple would use fingerprint readers on their MBP.
For some reason Apple has been adverse to this for quite some time. For years I've enjoyed the speed and convenience of a very accurate fingerprint reader on all of my ThinkPads.

It's just like Apple's refusal to offer build in 3G connectivity. A feature that has been offered by many laptop makers. It's as though Apple refuses out of spite, all because they cannot claim they invented it.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Now is the technologies team using them or the hardware team using them?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Now is the technologies team using them or the hardware team using them?
Two teams working together.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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Embedded Security Solutions (ESS) division to a company called Inside Secure for $48 million...
Read that as "Insecure".
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:26 AM   #7
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read that as "insecure".
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:26 AM   #8
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I can't make my mind up as to whether this'd make it into the next iPhone iteration or not. Else it'll be more of an iPhone 6 than a 5S, which I'm all for. Finger crossed.

Entering my passcode is getting tedious (first world problem).
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:39 AM   #9
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I can't make my mind up as to whether this'd make it into the next iPhone iteration or not. Else it'll be more of an iPhone 6 than a 5S, which I'm all for. Finger crossed.

Entering my passcode is getting tedious (first world problem).
Feels like more of a 6 thing. So how would such an integration work? Will they be able to do something along the lines of making the home button a scanner? Or will they have to put a scanner completely elsewhere on the phone?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:38 AM   #10
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Feels like more of a 6 thing. So how would such an integration work? Will they be able to do something along the lines of making the home button a scanner? Or will they have to put a scanner completely elsewhere on the phone?
I think that you are right. My thought is that Apple will roll out an NFC payment system that utilizes fingerprint recognition as part of its authentication process. Since this would be a major step-change in the iPhone's core abilities, it is more likely to be released on the iPhone 6. No matter what the phone is titled, I think that we have 1.5-2 years before we will see fingerprint tech (or NFC) in the iPhone.

If I were the engineer in charge of integrating the fingerprinting tech into the iPhone, I would try very hard to embed the scanner into the glass itself. I would probably put the scanner just to the right of the home button. I would also make the scanner blend in with the black/white background (similar to the front-facing camera, except with tinted glass) so that it would not ruin the aesthetic experience of the phone.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:06 AM   #11
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I think that you are right. My thought is that Apple will roll out an NFC payment system that utilizes fingerprint recognition as part of its authentication process. Since this would be a major step-change in the iPhone's core abilities, it is more likely to be released on the iPhone 6. No matter what the phone is titled, I think that we have 1.5-2 years before we will see fingerprint tech (or NFC) in the iPhone.

If I were the engineer in charge of integrating the fingerprinting tech into the iPhone, I would try very hard to embed the scanner into the glass itself. I would probably put the scanner just to the right of the home button. I would also make the scanner blend in with the black/white background (similar to the front-facing camera, except with tinted glass) so that it would not ruin the aesthetic experience of the phone.
Fingerprints for payments is a very bad idea, the last thing I want is for some crack head mugger to not only take my phone but also cut off my finger. Think about it
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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Fingerprints for payments is a very bad idea, the last thing I want is for some crack head mugger to not only take my phone but also cut off my finger. Think about it
I have never had a run in with a mugger, and I doubt that you have either. The scenario that you are describing is highly unlikely.
On the other hand, I HAVE lost my phone. Requiring fingerprint authentication would prevent somebody from being able to use your phone to buy things. I would much rather take the risk of losing my finger in the mugging scenario you posit (statistically will never happen to me) then take the risk that losing my phone = losing everything I have in the bank.

To put your scenario in perspective, if there is no fingerprint scanner included on your phone, then payment security will be in the form of a number/question that you need to answer in order to make a payment. Conceivably a 'crack-head' mugger could capture you and torture you until you give up your information. Like finger-chopping, this is highly unlikely.

I really want my phone to replace my wallet. The way I envision the future of mobile payments is this:
-Credit card readers will all have NFD sensors installed on them.
-Payment will be made by activating a payment app and then passing your phone over the NFD sensor. A digital signature will then be requested by your phone. This signature can take the form of a security question, fingerprint, PIN code, etc.
-A digital receipt is transferred to your phone

A system similar to the one that I describe above would make tracking expenses very easy. You would have digital access to not only how much you spend at a given store, but exactly what you purchased. Budgeting would be extremely simple because the daily input of data that a good budget requires would be almost completely automated. You would suddenly be able to see exactly what your shoe addiction costs.

Yes, there are security concerns to consider with a mobile payment system. The company (hopefully mine ) that ultimately creates the mobile payment system that we all use, will need to consider everything from your far-fetched mugging scene, to the more realistic possibility that your entire purchasing history/location/habits could be packaged and sold.

Fear is no bedfellow of innovation.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Patriks7 View Post
Feels like more of a 6 thing. So how would such an integration work? Will they be able to do something along the lines of making the home button a scanner? Or will they have to put a scanner completely elsewhere on the phone?
I believe Apple already showed how they're going to use this in one of their patent applications. They would have the sensor underneath the screen where the swipe normally occurs.

I do think this is really cool, though I would prefer it be offscreen ( like on the button ) becuase having a discrete sensor that only works on one part of the screen goes against the philosophy Apple has about the screen being 100% reconfigurable. But I admit it's a cool enough feature that it may not be a big deal.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:22 AM   #14
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The industry disrupting technology that AuthenTec brings to the table is fingerprint scanners built into the touchscreen.
Not sure why Apply would want to keep legacy technology to being with.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:19 PM   #15
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I have missed the AuthenTec fingerprint reader on my ThinkPad and I hope Apple adds one to their Macs.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:21 AM   #16
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Ain't that the nVidia logo?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:23 AM   #17
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:00 AM   #18
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