Mac users that would love TouchID support without having to use the Magic Keyboard are in for a treat. Well, only if you have engineering prowess.
Although using the Magic Keyboard with TouchID is the most convenient way to unlock your Mac, the keyboard’s Chiclet design isn’t for everyone. To solve the issue, some have even purchased an extra Magic Keyboard with TouchID just to tape it to the underside of their desk for easy TouchID accessibility. While it surely is an ingenious trick, it’s not optimal.
— Myke Hurley (@imyke) August 3, 2021
Now, developer Khaos Tian has found a solution, as shared by 9to5Mac, though it’s unlikely that someone without hardware engineering experience would be able to take advantage of it.
Tian found a way to detach the TouchID hardware from inside a Magic Keyboard and use it as a standalone unit just for authentication.
Standalone Touch ID button 😆 Pulled out the parts from Magic Keyboard and it worked nicely. pic.twitter.com/rZsThyEzQB
— Khaos Tian (@KhaosT) April 6, 2022
According to Tian, the standalone TouchID connects to the Mac with the default Lighting connector
Since you need to open up a Magic Keyboard with TouchID to take out the necessary hardware, it goes without saying that the experiment is an expensive one — you’ll have to shell out $179 for a Magic Keyboard in Canada to get TouchID access for your Mac. That is if you can perform the keyboard surgery without messing the internals up.
I’m sure there’s a lot of cool customization that can make the standalone TouchID button stand out, like a custom case for it, or building it into your desk.
Image credit: @KhaosT