It's spent all that money developing its Touch ID fingerprint scanner for added security on its iPhone range, so it's no surprise that Apple would be thinking about rolling it out to other devices, chiefly its iPad range. It's a rumour we've seen time and again, and a newly uncovered patent from PatentlyApple further reinforces claims that the iPad Air 2 will have a fingerprint scanner.
But the patent also teases another interesting possibility. It details a Touch ID fingerprint scanner that could connect to devices over USB or 3.5mm jack. With iPads and iPhones lacking a USB port, the obvious application would be for a Touch ID external peripheral for Mac devices. While future Macs could conceivably have a Touch ID scanner built in, a USB device would offer backwards compatibility to older laptops and desktop machines from Apple.
Stretch the line of reasoning a little further, and it arguably backs up other rumours concerning Apple introducing its own PayPal-rivalling payment service, especially if biometric security measures are to be a required hack-preventing measure. A USB device would greatly expand the number of people able to use the added authentication step. It all points towards Touch ID becoming an integral part of the entire Apple line-up in time. [PatentlyApple]