The iPhone 5s may transform the way we spend our money, access our phones and so much more. If you didn’t already know, Apple recently released a new smartphone with a fingerprint scanner along with a service called iBeacon. Two key features the iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner possesses out of the box are the ability to unlock your phone and authorize app and music purchases. Is this a big deal? Absolutely and here’s why. iBeacon is a highly accurate indoor GPS that is built on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard. Combined with the fingerprint reader, these make a useful combination.
Imagine walking past your favorite store where you purchase your dress shirts and at that moment you receive a coupon on your phone for ties. This may entice you to spend more money at that store. Let’s go a little farther with this scenario. BLE’s location awareness can even guide you to a hi tech mirror where you can stand, have your photograph taken and then have the tie you chose superimposed onto an image of yourself. It could even offer custom options like colors and styles as well. In a retail environment, an employee roaming the store with their own iPhone can then see your information on their phone including your name and the items you have purchased in the past.
While this new technology is amazing, there are a few security concerns that exist. First of all, hackers have compromised the fingerprint reader, giving them illegal access to the profiles of others. Secondly, if you’ve ever been fingerprinted, they may be on record somewhere. If those records fell into the wrong hands that could be a problem.
While it’s natural to have some apprehension with this new technology, I, along with many of my colleagues believe that we are heading in a positive direction. My hope is that we can be wallet-free soon and this will save us valuable time that can instead be invested in our businesses and personal lives.