At today’s special iPhone event, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Along with new colors, a better camera, and faster processor, the new iPhone 5s now features Touch ID. This security feature makes it impossible for anyone to use your phone without using your finger to unlock it. Presumably, Touch ID will also be made available for the next generation of iPad and iPad mini.
Based on the idea that, you bring your fingers with you wherever you go, Apple came up with a way to use your unique fingerprint to create a passcode for unlocking your iPhone. Just by touching your home button, the iPhone reads your fingerprint and unlocks your device. You can even use it to authorize purchases though iTunes and the App Store.
After the first time you set up your iOS device with Touch ID, it will continue to get better at reading your fingerprint. Using 360 degree scan technology, the device will be able to recognize multiple fingerprints from a wide variety of angles.
The Home button on the iPhone 5S is made from sapphire crystal, which acts as a lens to precisely focus on your finger. The steel ring around the new Home button detects your finger and sends a signal to the Touch ID app to read your print.
Using Advanced Capacitive Touch, the sensor takes a high-resolution image of your fingerprint from the sub-epidermal layers of your skin. It then categorizes your print as either Arch, Loop, or Whorl. It then analyzes ridges deep in the fingerprint’s structure to create a password that is unique to you.
It is important to note that all fingerprint information is encrypted and stored in a special location inside your iOS device’s A7 processor chip. It is locked away from everything else and only accessible by the Touch ID sensor. It is not stored in iCloud or saved in any other software or even on Apple’s servers.
As we learn more about the advanced technology of Touch ID, we’ll be sure to let you know how it works.