Apple has quietly snapped up AuthenTec, a Florida based company that specializes in fingerprint security. Cupertino will pay $356 million for the company.
According to statements made by AuthenTec in SEC filings regarding the deal, the company is being acquired in large part to develop proprietary fingerprint technology for use in future Apple devices.
"The Restricted Information may be used solely for the purpose of developing a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product."
Apple makes these kind of acquisitions to bolster its key products fairly regularly (think the Siri acquisition in 2010). With the purchase of AuthenTec, we can imagine Apple is dreaming of an iPhone that unlocks simply by touching it, rather than having to enter an annoying pass code.