SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc. has signed a merger agreement to acquire AuthenTec Inc., a provider of fingerprint ICs, sensors and software for security, for about $356 million, according to a regulatory filing.
In a filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last week, AuthenTec (Melbourne, Fla.) said its board of directors unanimously approved the merger agreement, under which Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) will pay $8 per share to acquire the company.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of AuthenTec shareholders, according to the filing.
Anything the makes mour stuff secure with fewer false negatives would be worth a lot of money.
More IP wars coming perhaps?
Or price increases for competitors using their sensors? Its always about the money and market share war games.
Authentec makes some of the best biometric sensors, and used on many laptops. Mine works reliably with a single swipe, and is much faster than typing a secure password. The other technology that Apple gets is their enterprise
security software, which Apple can use to help secure their "cloud" based servers. This was a very smart acquisition by Apple, and should benefit both companies greatly.
Actually, in the past, Authentic did provide its fingerprint recognition chip to Fujitsu, and Fujitsu offered PCs with that capability. (many years ago, though)
When I interviewed Authentic's then CEO, he said that the accuracy is not the real issue with any security products. The more important is to figure out the right level of security -- in order to decrease the false negatives.
Nothing turns off consumers, if their fingerprint fails at their own personal computer.
Haha I have thought about this also. I think the reason is speed and reliability. Inorder to reliably detect the user, it would take ~10 sec + multiple misdetections sometimes which add to the time. You can type the password in less than 5sec. So users never uses the FP sensor. Same problem with the Face recognition login. By integrating something like this into the home button, the phone can sense continually(while doing normal tasks) whether the phone is in different hands and may mitigate this problem to some extent.
I think the reliability of fingerprint recognition is high, provided the sensor is built right. We all see fingerprint recognition systems in immigration department and it is almost the basic tool to identify a person. However, it may not be the case yet in portable machine. I've used fingerprint built-in my laptop a few years ago and sometimes it just failed to recognize my finger well! Maybe there is more breakthrough coming after Apple's acquisition.
This acquisition lets us have a glimpse of the future. However, considering the present, I wonder why the use of fingerprint sensors isn't as popular. I mean, I've been using laptops for quite sometime now and have always relied on typing the security password. Why aren't we using the fingerprint yet? Is this technology like speech recognition, unreliable?
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