Patent for fingerprint scanner with NFC filed in Europe

Macworld Australia Staff
10 September, 2013
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With the hours now counting down to the Apple media event (3am AEST Wednesday morning), in which the Cupertino company is expected to launch at least two new iPhones (the 5S and the 5C) as well as present the final preview of iOS 7, the internet is still abuzz with snippets that seem to hint at some of tomorrow’s revelations.

One of those snippets refers to the much anticipated fingerprint sensor, believed to be a feature of the iPhone 5S. MacRumors reported at the weekend that Apple has filed for a European patent for a system that combines a fingerprint scanner with near field communication (NFC).

Discovered by Patently Apple, the patent application was published a couple of days ago and allows for dual modes of operation in a single, space-saving design.

Bearing the application number US2013/027627 the full application can be read here via Free Patents Online.

The patent is not without precedence of course, following a similar home-grown application filed in March 2012, but the latest application seemed to have been produced with as little fanfare as possible, as it neglected to mention Apple as the assignee.

Whether this has any bearing on tomorrow’s announcements will soon be revealed. In the meantime, the folks at Apple are clearly in an elated mood. Some people may be seeing coloured dots on the invitation Apple sent out to the media and the banner now adoring the tech giant’s Town Hall auditorium. But we think there’s a case for seeing balloons. Big, bouncing and celebratory balloons.

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