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Historically speaking, Apple has capitalized on its tendency to “set the stage,” so to speak, when it comes to delivering products that pave the way forward. Yet, as we’ve seen several times before, the Silicon Valley tech-giant’s major innovation milestones often prompt its fiercest competitors to play that good-old “cat-and-mouse” game — as they rush to play catch up and implement their own iterations of Apple’s most beloved, technologically advanced, and intuitive new features.
And so, with that said, perhaps it comes as little surprise that various PC makers are attempting to rush to market their own solutions to compete with the all-but-certain likelihood that Apple will be introducing it’s 2016 MacBook Pro soon — and that the expectedly revamped laptop computer will boast it’s own Touch ID fingerprint reader.
The Touch ID fingerprint reader is likely to be just one of the forthcoming machine’s many hallmark upgrades. What’s so ironic about this rumor, however, is that Windows PC makers — for the first time in, well, a long, long time — might just have the ability to beat Apple at its own game, thanks to a surprisingly spiffy new technology from Synaptics that’s just about ready to hit the ground running soon.
The new technology, according to a sneak preview given to Engadget, is essentially a next-generation glass trackpad, that also happens to have an embedded fingerprint recognition sensor right underneath it — known as ‘SecurePad’.
While SecurePad certainly wouldn’t be Synaptics’ first attempt at creating a fingerprint recognition system for Windows PC-based laptops, it will be the first that features the fingerprint sensors embedded underneath the trackpad, itself. A similar, pervious-generation of this technology featured separate fingerprint sensor and trackpad modules installed on premium Windows laptops.
The new Synaptics technology could potentially be released to PC manufacturers as early as the 4th quarter of 2016, according to the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Godfrey Cheng, who also added that he believes the latter majority of laptops will feature at least some form of touch-based fingerprint recognition within the next three-years or so.
Furthermore, Engadget actually got a chance to sit down and test out the most up-to-date iterations of SecurePad — and, having done so, indicated that it was both snappy and responsive, which adds fuel to the fire that it may be coming to the mainstream PC market sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Apple is widely expected to release its highly anticipated Touch ID-equipped, 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros sometime during the 4th quarter of this year. What still remains to be seen, however, is where and in what capacity Touch ID will be implemented on Apple’s forthcoming flagship laptops. Whether it will be a standalone Touch ID reader (similar to those active on the company’s iPhone and iPad line), or placed under-the-trackpad like Synaptics’ SurfacePad is anyone’s guess.. But this will certainly be an exciting new step in the evolution of enhanced laptop security, nevertheless.
What do you think about Synaptics’ new technology? Would you ditch your MacBook for a Windows PC in light of it? Let us know in the comments!