Ahead of Tuesday's event where Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones, the Wall Street Journal reports that the higher-end model will include a fingerprint scanner. The feature has been widely rumored by Reuters, the WSJ, and elsewhere; apparent references to the hardware have been found in the beta version of iOS 7, and alleged packaging of an "iPhone 5S" shows a silver ring around the home button that may house the sensor. It could simplify security measures on the iPhone by lessening the need for passwords.
Although previous efforts to integrate the technology into smartphones, such as Motorola's Atrix in 2011, have been less than successful, the WSJ suggests that Apple's move will convince other hardware manufacturers to revisit the concept. An Android phone with a similar fingerprint scanner is said to be coming this year, although it's not clear if it will make it to the US.