Apple has filled patents for fingerprint recognition system for the iPhone. This may have major implications for m-commerce and security as well as mobile user interfaces. Fingerprint reader technology has long been used for computer security. The interesting thing about Apple’s research is that involves the use of fingerprint patterns to actually identify distinct fingers. The idea is to match specific functions to specific fingers. This table shoes how an index finger press might perform on action (PLAY/STOP) while a middle finger press could fast forward.
Clearly fingerprint reading is coming to mobile phones. When implemented consumers could become comfortable with storing personal information on their mobile phone provided no one can access it due to the fingerprint lock. There has been a great deal of discussion on the concept of a portable profile that could be used across sites to provide more personalized interaction. Given the personal nature of the mobile device, fingerprint controls may provide the needed security to make a portable profile a reality. Travel apps could use specific fingers for targeted tasks such as purchase or rebook. Clearly fingerprintf identification and interaction is something to watch over the next few years.