While fingerprint analysis has been used since the turn of the 20th century for crime solving, the use of fingerprints in technology is a relatively new phenomenon.
Recently, fingerprint scanners have started popping up in all sorts of places – from police stations to high security buildings and even on PCs.
Now, if rumours are correct, Apple is set to use fingerprint technology for the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.
The speculation has come after analysts spotted that code contained in the latest beta iOS software shows it would be possible for Apple to use a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone, meaning the device could check a user’s identity as they tapped the screen.
While Apple has come under fire lately for not being innovative enough, this new feature may just silence critics.
It sounds like a feature worthy of everyone’s favourite spy James Bond. And, while Daniel Craig favoured the Sony Xperia TL in Skyfall, perhaps if fingerprint technology really is included on Apple’s new gizmo, he might be persuaded to switch to the iPhone for the 24th Bond movie.
The details have been leaked in a folder from iOS 7 beta 4, called BiometricKitUI. The new system was revealed by Apple to developers as it edges closer to release.
The data talks about a user being able to swipe a sensor on the iPhone’s home button. The text describes a “photo of a person holding an iPhone with their left hand, while touching the home button with their thumb.”
It also says there will be “a fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process” and says there will be an “iPhoto of a person holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the home button with their thumb.”
Fingerprint technology could strengthen phone security, replacing smartphone entry codes as a way to access your device.
The leak brings strength to rumours which were circulating about the possibility Apple could introduce fingerprint technology following the filing of a patent showing a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone’s bezel.
Apple also recently acquired the design centre Authentec, in Melbourne, Florida, which is best known for its fingerprint security work.
Four new models, the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, the iPhone Light and the newly rumoured iPhone 5C are all said to be due to launch within the next six months.
While there had been no mention of an iPhone 5C until now, a picture purporting to show packaging for a device called the 5C recently emerged online.
The image shows 5C boxes in a crate. The boxes, however, appear to be made from plastic and, so far, Apple has favoured thick cardboard for its packaging. So, if real, this would be a bit of a departure for the Californian tech giant, leading some to believe that this could be the name of the new budget iPhone.
We will simply have to wait to see which iPhones really do come onto the market, and whether they feature fingerprint technology.