AuthenTec co-founder discusses how Touch ID fingerprint reader evolved from early prototypes
AuthenTec co-founder F. Scott Moody recently stopped by his alma mater to deliver a speech about the company he helped launch. His company was acquired by Apple last year and it’s their technology that is used in the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system on the iPhone 5s.
During his chat at North Carolina State University, Moody walked students through some of the early prototypes that eventually led to Touch ID. One system known as FingerLoc consisted of a box that is larger than the iPhone connected by ribbon cables to another box even larger than the first.
It was this prototype that Moody used when visiting with venture capitalists to explain his vision. He wanted to shrink the technology down and make it viable for use in smaller devices. It was rough going at first but they were eventually able to shrink the system down into a package that was suitable for consumer use. AuthenTec even worked with a number of dermatologists to help perfect the technology, Moody said.
Once a final product was ready, several companies came knocking including Apple, Fujitsu and Motorola. Apple in particular “ate it up,” Moody said, and eventually purchased the entire company for $356 million. AuthenTec had a solid team of engineers, he said, as evident by the fact that Apple kept the entire engineering team.
Moody said he never cared about government standards for fingerprint readers. Instead, he wanted to create a cheap method to identify users in an accurate way. He isn’t hooked on the tech, but rather what the tech can do for users.
The iPhone 5s is the Apple’s latest flagship handset. The iPhone 5s is powered by a first of its kind 64-bit A7 processor and the same 4" Retina display as its predecessor. It also includes a fingerprint reader dubbed Touch ID, HD video capture at 720p at 120FPS that can also perform slow motion at 120FPS. Battery life on the iPhone 5s is rated for 10 hours of 3G talk time, LTE browsing, Wi-Fi browsing and video.
The iPhone 5C replaces the iPhone 5 with nearly identical tech specs, a plastic-based exterior and 5 color choices, a first in the iPhone family. The 5C features the same 4" Retina display, A6 CPU, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, a new front-facing FaceTime HD camera with better low light support, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a higher capacity battery and support for more LTE bands.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
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