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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly signed an agreement with Australian biometrics security firm Microlatch to use its fingerprint recognition technology in near-field communications applications. Microlatch’s lead investor, David Murray, told The Australian that his firm and Apple had signed a deal, though he did not offer any financial or technical details.
“There have been acquisitions that suggest that people are positioning themselves around these biosecurity products securing mobile phones in a far more satisfactory way for people,” Murray said, adding that Microlatch owned patents fingerprint biometrics that meet banking security standards.
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Apple purchased fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec (NASDAQ:AUTH) in July for $356 million, leading to speculation that the iPhone maker was serious about including the new security technology in a digital payments application. It was even being rumored before the launch of the iPhone 5 last month that the new smartphone would be equipped with these features. While that did not happen, the Microlatch deal may be further proof that Apple could eventually add such a feature to its mobile devices. AutheTec’s purchase also sent alarm bells ringing among the firm’s existing customers, including Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Lenovo, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), who reportedly have been asked to find alternatives before next year.
According to Reuters, Apple recently made a regulatory filing that hinted that the company may be working on developing a two-dimensional fingerprint sensor, though it did not elaborate whether it would be used in an iOS device or a Mac computer.
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