Apple patent suggests Touch ID fingerprint sensor for iPads, MacBooks

iPad and MacBook computer to get Touch IS fingerprint sensor?
The death knell for passowrds used to unlock devices

Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor could extend its reach beyond the iPhone 5S and into future iPad and MacBook computers, according to a newly published patent.

The company's filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office includes language that opens the door to adding the biometric technology to its tablets, computers and "beyond," discovered Patently Apple.

So far, Touch ID verification has been helpful in allowing iPhone 5S users to quickly unlock their smartphones and download iTunes content without having to enter a passcode.

However, the technology hasn't been made available to third-party developers to help eliminate all password barriers just yet.

Touch ID iPads next Tuesday?

Less than a week from now, Apple is expected to launch two new iPad models, the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 with a Retina display.

In addition to possibly adorning the iPhone 5S gold and space gray colors as part of their rear shell, the forthcoming tablets are rumored to contain a fingerprint sensor.

That is further backed up by the language used in today's patent, pointing to at least one or both new iPads including the specialized home button.

Another interesting discovery by Patently Apple is that Touch ID's verification method allows it to scan fingerprints at a much higher resolution than other sensors on the market without the need to electrically shocking the finger.

That's a relief.

Matt Swider