iPhone 5 Home Button Might Read Fingerprints

Apple IP acquisition hints at revolutionary mobile tech

By on August 16th, 2012 22:11 GMT

It has been brought to light that on July 27, 2012, security company AuthenTec announced in a regulatory filing that it had sold some assets to Apple Inc. for $356 million / 290 million EUR.

Arguably one of Apple’s biggest acquisitions ever, the AuthenTec merger featured some interesting stipulations.

One of them said the two companies should act swiftly, due to its “product plans and ongoing engineering efforts,” as TNW points out.

The text specifically said, “As a result of its focus on timing, Apple’s representatives also informed the Company that Apple would not participate in an auction process and would rescind its proposal if the board decided to solicit alternative acquisition proposals for the Company.”

“Mr. Ciaccia responded that he would convene a board meeting to discuss the proposal and would revert to Apple with the board’s position on Apple’s proposal.”

The offer also included an IP agreement that would allow Apple to use AuthenTec patents.

The deal provided Apple with “the right to acquire non-exclusive licenses and certain other rights with respect to hardware technology, software technology and patents of the Company for commercialization of 2D fingerprint sensors for use in or with Apple products,” the filing read.

The papers continued to outline that, “For the right to acquire such non-exclusive licenses and other rights, Apple will pay us $20.0 million. Apple will have 270 days from the date of the IP agreement to choose, in its sole discretion, to license certain hardware technology and patents and certain software technology and patents from us on a perpetual, non-exclusive basis for an aggregate sum of up to $115.0 million.”

“Apple can choose to acquire either the non-exclusive hardware technology and patent rights ($90.0 million), the non-exclusive software technology and patent rights ($25.0 million) or both.”

Since fingerprint recognition technology is clearly at heart here, it is more than obvious that Apple will implement this in its future products, in one way or another.

TNW speculates that the acquisition ¬– which we can agree is a hefty one – might have something to do with the newly-introduced Passbook application. Passbook is touted by Apple as the simplest way to get all your boarding passes and baseball tickets in one place.

Currently, Passbook is only available to developers testing Apple’s iOS 6 betas. The app will be available to the general population this fall, when Apple will unveil the next-generation iPhone with the new OS pre-installed.

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