Touch ID: Apple's 500ppi fingerprint scanner

Touch ID: Apple’s 500ppi fingerprint scanner

Apple has just officially announced the iPhone 5S earlier and one of its key features is its built-in fingerprint scanning technology called Touch ID. Read on to find out how it works.


Starting with the hardware, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S is actually made of four main parts:

  • Laser-cut sapphire crystal – acts as a cover and lens for the Touch ID sensor
  • stainless steel detection ring – detects if your finger is on the home button
  • Touch ID sensor – the sensor that captures your fingerprint
  • Tactile switch


All of that is built right into the home button.

How does it work?

It all starts with the stainless steel detection ring which makes sure that your finger is on the home button. Without having to press, the 170 microns thin Touch ID sensor accurately (hopefully 100% all the time) scans the sub-epidermal skin layers of your finger with 360-degree readability at 500ppi resolution.


It is capable of reading multiple fingerprints which is then stored encrypted on the device and not on Apple’s servers or the iCloud.

What is it for?

Like most biometric technologies, the Touch ID is used for authentication purposes. Instead of using passcodes, the iPhone 5S can utilize the Touch ID and just scan your fingerprint which we all know is unique to yours. So in essence, Touch ID adds another layer of easy-to-use security to the iPhone which eliminates the cumbersome need to type a password whenever you need to unlock your device or make purchases on iTunes.


To sum it up, with the help of Touch ID, all you need is a finger… That is, if it works perfectly and you don’t lose your finger.

Editor’s Note: This isn’t the first smartphone to have a fingerprint scanner. In 2011, Motorola launched the Atrix 4G with the same fingerprint scanner. It never took off.

{sources: 1, 2}

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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26 Responses

  1. Ernesto says:

    Motorola atrix was the firat phone to operate with fingerprint sensor but then again Apple is the one who revolutionoze it. Groundbreaking!

  2. Ernesto says:

    Motorola atrix was the firat phone to operate with fingerprint sensor but then again Apple is the one who revolutionoze it. Groundbreaking!!

    • Miss Call says:

      And it follows that if some other guy or company takes idea from Apple, makes it better, it’s called infringement.

    • Missed call says:

      @Miss call: Miss, paki-basa po uli nung original post ni Ernesto. The technology ORIGINATED from Motorola (which is now owned by Google, along with all its patents). It’s Apple who is guilty of infringement.

    • Ernesto says:

      I think both of you are pertaining to Patent infringement. I don’t think motorola patented the technology so in short they don’t have a case.

  3. John Pistolero says:

    Clever! Fingering your way into your phone works the same with…you what I mean.

  4. zarne says:

    Bye bye ! snatchers of Iphone 5S.

  5. Mr. Curious says:

    sooo….. what’s new?

  6. airmike says:

    Just perfect for hackers or “bad elements” to steal critical biometric info from you…. :-( dont know if its a good thing….

    • wew says:

      anu naman? i mean wala namang mangyayari kung makuha nila ung biometrics mo…hindi naman widely used ang biometrics at wala pa tayong kakayahan na gumawa ng pekeng daliri na may parehong biometrics ng isang tao

  7. Iyan Sommerset says:

    I don’t get it. We’ve had fingerprint sensors on laptops for years. I bet some of the old Windows Mobile devices had some too.

  8. ewe says:

    may kokopyahin na naman sina Samsung at ang entire lagdroid oems.. hahaha!

  9. Ernesto says:

    Sana naman na link man lang ako dun sa tip hat. Wala man pang recognition dito. I’ve been a loyal reader. Ugh!

  10. Dwvrgrffdd says:

    Hahaha ang daming squatters dito na can’t afford ang nagrereklamo sa presyo ng iPhone! This is not meant for you, cheap bastards! You can hate all you want but the fact is you can’t afford this luxury phone.

    • Pious Bastard says:

      Ang sama ng isip mo. kala masaya ang mayayaman tulad mo. sana tamaan ka ng kidlat, ngayon na.

    • Janet Napoles says:

      Isasampal ko sa pagmumukha mo yung 10 iPhone 5s na bibilin ko at sana maencrypt nila ung crates na mahuhukay sa napakababaw na pagkatao mo.
      Hindi materyal na bagay ang batayan sa katayuan ng buhay. Mas gugustuhin kong magpakain ng 100 bata sa bahay ampunan ng isang linggo kesa bumili ng overpriced na telepono!

    • ronald says:

      Vertu is a luxury phone. An iphone is not. Anyone with a credit card could own an iPhone. I bet Dwvrffdd you can only buy an iPhone but not a Vertu. Consider yourself one of the squatters then. Ignorant fool.

    • abuzalzal says:

      @Janet Napoles
      “Encrypt” ka dyan…baka “decrypt”!
      Next time, wag kang gagamit ng term kung hindi mo naman alam, dadagdag ka pa sa mga bobita dito sa YugaTech.


    • wew says:

      oo nga @Janet Napoles dumadagdag ka pa sa hanay ni abuzalzal at ni Milhouse.

  11. Markyb says:

    Nope, Apple didn’t copy anything.
    They just innovate things :)

  12. jm says:

    anung kwenta nung fingerprint scanner kung kaya naman ijailbreak oh i bypass ng mga technician, walang kwenta, payabang lang..

    • wew says:

      tama ka naman pero sq tingin ko naglagay lang sila ng feature na ganito para mas convenient sa user at mejo mas mataas na security(kapag password kasi gamit mo may tendency na may nakasilip sa phone mo pag tinatype mo ung password)

  1. January 20, 2014

    […] Late last week, app developer Eric Castro teased his upcoming project called BioUnlock which can be used to unlock a Mac through the iPhone 5S’ Touch ID. […]

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