Apple announces Touch ID fingerprint sensor for iPhone 5s

Apple has just announced the new Touch ID feature which comes in the form of a fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s. It is made of four layers consisting of laser cut sapphire crystal, stainless steel detection ring, the Touch ID sensor, and a tactile switch.

The sensor is built right into the iPhone 5s' Home button and is 170 microns thin. With a 500 ppi resolution, it will can the sub-epidermal layer of skin for 360-degree readability. That means you basically can't put your finger on it wrong. No matter what angle you press the Home button at, it should still recognize your print. Jony Ive had this to say live:

"It's not just rampant tech for tech's sake. Every component and process has been considered and measured to make sure it's truly useful and enhances the user experience."

Lots of people thought a finger print sensor would be a gimmick. To use it as a passcode is a huge convenience but how will Apple open it to developers? That's where it could make a huge impact.

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.