Apple’s Touch ID feature on the iPhone 5s was announced just last week, and it is already causing quite a stir. Many users are already questioning how it works, what it can be used for, and even how Apple could improve it. Suddenly, the world is looking at Touch ID and believing fingerprint sensors are cool and mainstream. With Touch ID gaining so much attention and truly being the first biometric fingerprint sensor to ship in bulk on a smartphone, it is only a matter of time before Apple begins adding more features to it.
Currently, Touch ID only allows users to unlock their iPhone 5s and authorize purchases on the App Store, though it is possible Apple will be opening the new hardware to developers to begin using in third party applications. Imagine being able to log in to your Facebook, Twitter, or even your banking app by simply placing your finger on your home button. It is a very real possibility, especially because there has been talk of Apple including NFC in future models of the iPhone. Touch ID could be updated enough in the future to be able to authorize purchases through other apps such as ebay or Amazon.
The Touch ID feature is likely still in development, the same way Siri took multiple iOS updates and iPhone generations to finally become a solid digital assistant. Apple has even opened up and offered more details about Touch ID and was honest about the fact that it doesn’t work too well with sweaty fingers or with fingers scarred by accidents or surgery.
Touch ID has the potential to revolutionize what third party applications can do if Apple allows developers to integrate the feature into their applications.