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Can Apple's iPhone 5S make fingerprint scanners cool?

Apple will unveil its iPhone 5S on Sept. 10 with a new fingerprint sensor feature, say analysts.

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Customers descend the glass staircase at the Apple store in Boston. Apple will unveil the new iPhone 5S on Sept. 10.

Alfredo Sosa/ The Christian Science Monitor/ File

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A mobile device that recognizes its owner’s fingerprints is no longer something out of an old sci-fi film. In fact, identifying individuals by unique characteristics like fingerprints might be the next big tech trend.

Apple’s new iPhone 5S model, which is set for a Sept. 10 release date, is rumored to include special fingerprint sensor software, according to MacRumors.com. This would let users unlock their devices simply by brushing a finger across the phone’s screen. Despite earlier rumblings in the Mac world that the new iPhone models would also include features for making secure payments via smart phone fingerprint recognition, Apple is likely to hold off on this until 2014, giving the company time to vet the fingerprint feature first, says Gene Munster, a technology analyst with Piper Jaffray.  

The company's purchase of the $350 million fingerprint-sensor company AuthenTec last year has not only fueled speculation about fingerprint sensors in iPhones, but also about the future of biometric technologies. 

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