How Will Apple Implement Touch ID on Macs?

Last year, after I had had my iPhone 5s for a while, I wrote about how I want Touch ID everywhere. I have a new iPad Air 2, which has Touch ID, so the two mobile devices I use most let me unlock them with my fingerprints. It’s not as big a deal on the iPad, because I don’t use it anywhere near as much as my iPhone, but it’s nice to have.

But I want Touch ID everywhere (at least on all my Apple products).

I’ve been wondering how Apple can implement Touch ID on Macs. The sensor is very small; the size of a home button on an iOS device, so it would fit on the corner of a trackpad; I can imagine Apple release the Magic Trackpad Touch with this feature.

Some have suggested using an iPhone to unlock an Mac. While this is an interesting idea, I think I could do it faster by typing my password on my Mac. Using the phone, you would have to a) unlock the phone with Touch ID, then b) activate something that lets you then choose to unlock the Mac. With the Handoff technology built into iOs 8 and OS X Yosemite, this is certainly possible, but I wonder if it would save any time.

I can imagine that future Mac laptops may have a Touch ID sensor built into a power button; it’s about the same size as the old power buttons on MacBooks Pro of years past. But that wouldn’t work with desktop Macs.

I hope Apple does something in that direction. It would make life easier, saving just a bit of annoyance when I want to access my Mac.

8 thoughts on “How Will Apple Implement Touch ID on Macs?

  1. Intel would need to put secure enclave which ARM Cortex M chip with L3 micro kernel with encryption key created at the chip factory.
    More can be read how touch ID works by reading Apples Security document
    The communication between touch_id and secure enclave is encrypted.
    Additionally you need Secure Element to store bank encryption keys that are used to send the information to ApplePay servers for in-app purchasing and Apple keeps that keys for each app vendor.

    If Apple gives this tech to intel, they would put in their tablets and intel chips take 3 years to come to market.

  2. Intel would need to put secure enclave which ARM Cortex M chip with L3 micro kernel with encryption key created at the chip factory.
    More can be read how touch ID works by reading Apples Security document
    The communication between touch_id and secure enclave is encrypted.
    Additionally you need Secure Element to store bank encryption keys that are used to send the information to ApplePay servers for in-app purchasing and Apple keeps that keys for each app vendor.

    If Apple gives this tech to intel, they would put in their tablets and intel chips take 3 years to come to market.

  3. what is more amazing is that FBI Director is objecting to this type of
    encryption and writers like yourself can’t put thing together that
    FBI doesn’t want this tech to spread to outside of Apple ecosystem.

    FBI is saying no to the touch_id because it is also using the same encryption keys
    that live inside the chip for which Apple doesn’t record it.

    Just imagine if PC were as secure as iPhone.

  4. what is more amazing is that FBI Director is objecting to this type of
    encryption and writers like yourself can’t put thing together that
    FBI doesn’t want this tech to spread to outside of Apple ecosystem.

    FBI is saying no to the touch_id because it is also using the same encryption keys
    that live inside the chip for which Apple doesn’t record it.

    Just imagine if PC were as secure as iPhone.

  5. Adding TouchID to a MBA or rMBP wouldn’t be overtly complicated, assuming the rest of the hardware supports it – see Dr.no above. Hmm an rMBA with an Apple Ax chip instead of some Intel thingie? Seeing the performance results for the iPad Air 2, it might be a possibility. I don’t see Apple selling that tech to Intel, though. And yes, build the sensor into the power button.
    Desktop Macs are a bit more tricky; the button would need to be integrated into the Mac itself, not the keyboard/mouse/magic trackpad.

  6. Adding TouchID to a MBA or rMBP wouldn’t be overtly complicated, assuming the rest of the hardware supports it – see Dr.no above. Hmm an rMBA with an Apple Ax chip instead of some Intel thingie? Seeing the performance results for the iPad Air 2, it might be a possibility. I don’t see Apple selling that tech to Intel, though. And yes, build the sensor into the power button.
    Desktop Macs are a bit more tricky; the button would need to be integrated into the Mac itself, not the keyboard/mouse/magic trackpad.

  7. Have you heard of the app called Knock? It allows you to unlock your Mac by simply knocking twice on your locked/sleeping iPhone. The only limitation is that it needs Bluetooth 4 LE. A simple, and already available solution to unlocking your Mac, without having to type in your password. 🙂

  8. Have you heard of the app called Knock? It allows you to unlock your Mac by simply knocking twice on your locked/sleeping iPhone. The only limitation is that it needs Bluetooth 4 LE. A simple, and already available solution to unlocking your Mac, without having to type in your password. 🙂

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