A severed finger will not work on an iPhone 5s

Why the iPhone’s Fingerprint Sensor Is Better Than the Ones on Older Laptops
[Via Daring Fireball]

Mary Branscombe, writing for CITEworld:

With the new sensors you don’t have to move your finger, just press it against the reader. And like the sensor in the iPhone 5S, the sensors that will be in laptops and keyboards and other phones can detect the ridge and valley pattern of your fingerprint not from the layer of dead skin on the outside of your finger (which a fake finger can easily replicate), but from the living layer of skin under the surface of your finger, using an RF signal. That only works on a live finger; not one that’s been severed from your body.

This will protect you from thieves trying to chop off your finger when they mug you for your phone (assuming they’re tech-literate thieves, of course), as well as from people with fake fingers using the fingerprint they lifted from your phone screen.

Good to know.


Nice to see that Apple is thinking of the consumer here.

2 thoughts on “A severed finger will not work on an iPhone 5s

    1. Most phones were being stolen by people just running by and grabbing them. That was much easier than a mugging. So the fingerprint approach might slow that down. But a mugger is going to always get whatever they want ;-)

      I’m probably going to stick with a password to unlock. Data indicates that it would take over 15 years to break mine by brute force approaches. The fingerprint will become more useful, I believe, in verifications for transactions. That way the bank knows it is really you doing the withdrawal.

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