updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon April 8, 2013
Company making unusual Florida hires
A new Apple job listing may hint at some of the company's plans for fingerprint technology, notes AppleInsider. The company is currently searching for a software engineer, to be based in Melbourne, Florida. The successful hire will be required to work on software related to integrated circuit design, including LabTool, an app used at Apple's "Melbourne Design Center."
Florida isn't generally known for its corporate Apple presence, which suggests that the Melbourne Design Center is actually the new name for AuthenTec, a firm from Melbourne that Apple bought last year for $356 million. At the time AuthenTec revealed that Apple is planning to integrate fingerprint sensors into some of its devices, but which devices and how the sensors might be implemented is still unknown.
Some analyst and media speculation has held that the technology is related to plans for mobile payments using NFC, since fingerprint recognition would make it harder for someone to steal an iPhone and start making fraudulent purchases. On a more basic level, though, it could make unlocking a device simpler yet more secure. It could also make multiple user IDs easy, as unique fingerprints could be set to launch different IDs automatically.