Is Apple planning a TouchID accessory for Macs and older iPads?

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Everyone is expecting the iPhone 6 and next iPads to have built in TouchID fingerprint recognition – but could Apple be thinking even bigger than that?

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According to Patently Apple, which spends its time digging around documents filed to the patent office, Apple could be working on TouchID accessories for other devices too.

There’s talk in the document about a plug-in fingerprint scanner, which could work over USB or even through the headphone socket – meaning that the technology could be added to older iPads and iPhones, as well as even Mac laptops and computers (unsurprisingly, there are rumours of future Macs have a fingerprint reader built in).

Now this comes with the usual caveats associated with patent diagrams – which is that often companies like Apple will patent ideas just to protect them, even if it has no intention of developing them. So this could be the result of the R&D department getting a little creative. But such a move would make sense for Apple as making the technology more widespread will boost its adoption. Who knows, it could even try and challenge Amazon and Paypal in secure payment systems?

James O’Malley