Earlier this year, rumors began to emerge that Apple is planning to include a fingerprint sensor in its upcoming iPhone 5S. The reports died down for a few weeks but have once again surfaced, this time from Apple. Apple recently posted a new job listing for a software enginner to work with the AuthenTec fingerprint sensor team in Florida. Apple acquired AuthenTec for $365 million last year, and appears to be finally putting it to use. The location of the job is listed in Melbourne, Florida where the AuthenTec company was based, and is the only listing on the Apple job site for this city.
Apple also notes in the description that the job requires the ability to write “low-level code to configure and control hardware” and requires an educational minimum of a BS (Bachelors of Science) degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science. Other requirements are the ability to use the “Labtool” software, which is used for updating the tool to work with new sensors as well as automating lab test and characterization.
LabTool – Develop, maintain, update and optimize the “LabTool” software that is used for lab evaluation and characterization of the Melbourne Design Center sensor ICs. This includes adding new features as specified by the analog and digital design engineers. Updating the tool to work with new sensors. Automating lab test and characterization. Provide support and debug capability to all groups within Apple that use the tool.
Following its acquisition by Apple, AuthenTec became a company focused solely on fingerprint sensing and identity management. This could come in great use to Apple is they choose to include in their next iPhone as it would allow for the Cupertino, California company to redesign their passcode lock which has had a number of issues in recent months and even do away with certain log-in windows in iOS. It would also benefit businesses who would want extra security on devices they provide to employees.