Fingerprint Scanner: Technologies Which Change the Rule of Thumbby Tushar Mehta January 10, 2017 0 comments
Fingerprints are in vogue, now available even in entry-level phones. If you’re vigilant about your privacy and unwanted peaks into your screen set turmoil in your heart, you must already be using a fingerprint or a similar biometric sensor for unlocking your phone. Thanks to Apple’s Touch ID which was introduced with the iPhone 5s in 2013 fueled the momentum of trends shifting in favour of fingerprint sensors.
Biometric sensors have witnessed a major riot of opportunities in 2016 itself. Based on a report by Acuity Market Intelligence, the number of smartphone models with biometric sensors saw a growth of over 100% since January through December 2016. These biometric sensors include the traditional fingerprint sensor, Iris scanners, and blood vein scanners such as a hear-rate monitor. Nearly 40% of the smartphones available globally deploy fingerprint on-board.
As the prices of fingerprint-enabled phones are declining and cheaper alternatives flouting the trade, the concern over the security of fingerprint has soared like hot smoke. As the fingerprint is becoming the key to our security and privacy, innovators are exploring the area of fool-proof fingerprint scanning, with due attention to the resistance against threats or data forgery. Below are some technologies that can replace the traditional flat-bed fingerprint scanner in 2017.
Synaptics FS9100 – Optic-based & Button-free Fingerprint Scanner
While optic-based fingerprint scanners have been hot in trends, Synaptics is the first company to exhibit a ready-for-procurement batch of optical sensors, titled FS9100. This optical fingerprint sensors capable of reading fingerprint through a sheath of 1mm thick glass. Protected under scratch-proof glass, it will be readily water-resistant and will not require a separate cutout.
Further, in collaboration with facial recognition firm called KeyLemon, Synaptics displayed at CES 2017 a smart engine for incorporating facial recognition with the fingerprint, making it convenient and firmly secure for the user. Samsung has a history of sourcing its fingerprint sensors from Synaptics and we can anticipate an optical fingerprint sensor being featured on the Galaxy S8, set for launch this year, the use of facial recognition may lag behind. Innovation is crucial for Samsung after the Note 7 debacle last year.
SecuGen UN20 and Hamster Pro 45 – Cross-platform and FBI-certified
SecuGen, manufacturer of optical fingerprint technology showcased UN20 which is an optical serial fingerprint scanner capable of being used with various devices such as mobile phones, access control units, industrial applications and financial solutions (ATMs and PoS). It comes with Unity BDP (Biometric Development Program) which allows OEMs to integrate SecuGen fingerprint in a nearly endless number of devices. The UN20 Bluetooth is a cross-platform fingerprint scanner which, as suggested by the name, is Bluetooth-enabled and doesn’t require wired for connection with the native device.
Hamster Pro 45 from SecuGen is a badass dedicated to forensic research and law enforcement. Made especially for the FBI, Hamster Pro 45 boasts a two-finger scanner instead of just one. This increases the accuracy of fingerprint reading. We may soon experience such a solution on commercial devices citing increasing attacks on consumer technology.
Apple Ready to Counter Samsung
Apple has, as per some reputed sources, filed a patent request for “a capacitive fingerprint sensor with electrostatic lens.” This will allow Apple to rid away with the Home button which is being carried along as emotional baggage, as well as let Apple compete its bezel-less iPhone 8 with likes of the Xiaomi Mi Max.
The present range of capacitive fingerprint scanners cannot identify any change in the magnetic field of users’ fingers based on the distance between the two surfaces. The electrostatic lens will remediate this by identifying the electric field of the user’s finger and adjusting the parameters in play while reading fingerprints – resulting in increased accuracy and security.
Chinese Brands such as Xiaomi and Huawei Catching Up
Huawei’s latest upcoming devices – Honor Magic, Mate 9 Pro and Mate 9 Porche will boast FPC1268, an under-glass fingerprint scanner. Xiaomi is a repeat customer of FPC, a fingerprint manufacturer, and is likely to utilize the latest model FPC1268 on its flagships in 2017. This will catalyze the transcendence of glass-based fingerprints into affordable smartphones.
What the Best Innovator at CES 2017 Offers –
Goodix Technology was revered as the Best Innovator of embedded technology at the CES 2017 because it unveiled Live Fingerprint Detection Sensor. Goodix analyzed that present class of capacitive fingerprints are not very reliable, and its fingerprint solution uses Infrared and a heart-rate monitor to easily detect fake and cloned fingerprints. After being convinced that it is a “live” finger, the scanner recognizes a “friendly” finger based on its conductivity. It is likely to feature on phones such as Gionee M2017 and Meizu PRO6 Plus.
The use of fingerprint has seemingly evolved into a market trend, with cheaper solutions being leveraged with almost every affordable smartphone. Fingerprint scanners are a cardinal essence of a majority of the flagships. Capacitive fingerprints gave birth to security issues when some 3D printing artists managed to manipulate templates of users’ fingerprints, now calling for more advanced and secure technologies.
As the popularity of fingerprint grows, we will have more users as well as intruders, thus calling for more advanced and nearly sci-fi tech, available for a wide range of devices including biometric smart cards. Simultaneously, other biometrics such as Iris scanners may strive to increase the security of our data.