When Touch ID was announced at the iPhone 5s launch, it was immediately besieged by detractors.
One area in particular for detractors is that the Touch ID system is susceptible is via spoofing an owner’s fingerprint. If true, this would pretty much leave the whole system open to an attacker, and now, with the iPhone 6 and Apple Pay, spoofing would easily expose the owner to fraudulent charges placed on the his credit cards.
The most convincing exposition on this was by the German Chaos Club group which quickly posted online video of how to spoof the Touch ID sensor system.
With the advent of Apple Pay based on Touch ID, this issue becomes even more critical.
Two facts are clear:
- it works,
- it is not all that difficult.
However, there is one clarification to point #2. It ought to read:
Pedal to the Metal
In my post to Seeking Alpha I wrote:
- The final sleeper feature with deep implications for Apple’s future is Metal.
- Metal is a new technology for writing graphics programs, particularly animations and games. It allows programmers to write code at a much lower level than previously, and this produces a real, up to 10x performance improvement.
Clearly the newest Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad,a nd possibly Apple TV box) will be getting upgraded processors (system on a chip or SoC), the A8. I wrote in detail on the current A7 in this post, and I also presented my speculations on the A8. While Apple’s creative design keeps them a step ahead in the processor race, because they control both the operating system (iOS) and the processor technology
- Apple is in a unique position to optimize system graphics performance
So what is it that they have done?