Thoughts on fingerprint reading technology on the next iPhone and its possible implementation

This is a cross post from my post on reddit. You can see that here.

I just thought ill share some of my thoughts on how Apple might implement the heavily rumoured fingerprint reading technology on the next iPhone.

Firstly, it will be integrated into the home button kinda like this.

Secondly, in conjunction with the launch of the fingerprint reader, apple will launch multiple users and guest mode on both iPhone and iPad.

This is how it will work:

1. When you first configure the iOS device, you will be prompted to create a new user profile by placing your thumb on the home button and filling out a few personal details for your profile. (This will become the primary user profile by default)

2. Every time a new user picks up the device and presses the home button, iOS will automatically sense that it is a different user, and will immediately log out of the current user session. If the new user is registered with the phone, it will simply switch to its user profile. (This is so seamless! No need to log out yourself, click on the change user button, type a pin code, etc. It just happens automatically!)

3. If the new user is not registered with the device, it will prompt the user to create a new user profile.

4. The fingerprint reader will work if you press the home button, press and hold the home button for Siri (Siri will thus know who is asking the question!), or even if you double press the home button for multitasking. Note how the home button on the iDevice is basic to almost any navigation in iOS (except for in-app stuff), thus with the fingerprint reader on the home button, you are essentially very well protected.

There will be a couple of other options that one will be able to set in the settings of the primary user:

a. Lonely User -- If you are the sole user of the device, the multiple user feature is of not much use to you. If you set it to 'Lonely User', whenever a stranger picks up the device, the moment he/she presses the home button, iOS treats the device as if it was stolen. It will snap a picture with the front-facing camera, and send an email to the owner with the location and picture of the thief. (This is useful if you don't lock your device often or if the thief picks up the device before the default 1 minute auto lock kicks in.) Additionally, super-paranoid users can even set the phone to auto wipe itself if a stranger touches the home button. That would be just too much I suppose, considering the fact that the owner can remote wipe the device any time anyway.

b. Guest Mode -- If you are the sole user of the device but don't want to create multiple accounts because it is only sometimes when you hand your device over to a friend or kid, you might want to use this nifty feature. If a stranger picks up the device and tries to press the home button, iOS will immediately log out of the current user session and log into 'Guest Mode' which would be customizable to display only the bare essential apps, or a few additional user-chosen apps and restrictions on private apps such as contacts, email, settings, etc. (Example use case: You give your phone to a friend with a game app loaded up. You want him to try this new awesome game. He starts playing and you get distracted by something and you go away for a while. This 'friend' then seizes the opportunity thinking he could post something embarrassing in your Facebook since you are already logged in. The moment he presses the home button to navigate to the Facebook app, iOS immediately recognizes that he is a stranger and logs out of the phone!)

I think this feature has some awesome potential.

What do you think?