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Robots & Machines

A Top Manufacturer Is Taking a Chance on In-Display Fingerprint Sensors

You'll be able to unlock your device by touching anywhere on the screen.

Chelsea GohdDecember 13th 2017

Fingerprint Sensors

Tech developer Synaptics has officially partnered with a company to begin mass production of their upgraded optical in-display fingerprint sensors. They’re calling the sensors FS9500 Clear ID, and they work similarly to the home button fingerprint sensors on many of today’s phones. The difference is that users can press on the actual display of whatever touch-sensitive device they are using to authenticate using fingerprint ID.

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Synaptics’ previously released FS9100 optical fingerprint sensor was a significant technological step forward. However, Samsung had major issues implementing the tech into their devices and was forced to make last-minute changes to their flagship Galaxy phone.

That may not stop Samsung from partnering with Synaptics on the FS9500 Clear ID. The tech company said in a press release that their new in-display fingerprint sensors will be implemented in devices for “a top five OEM” — that means either Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo / Vivo, or Xiaomi is giving the sensors a shot. Hopefully, Synaptics can prove that the issues with their earlier model have been worked out.

Advanced ID

The main difference between the FS9500 Clear ID and existing fingerprint sensors is that user will be able to interface and authenticate ID anywhere on a device’s display. But does that make the device more hackable?

As technology continues to advance, our devices are becoming more capable. As we increase our reliance on them, we entrust our smart devices with more and more of our information, so it has become imperative that we ensure that our data is safe from hackers.

Security has become a major focus of new tech, but even the most state-of-the-art measures can’t keep our information safe from major corporations, as evidenced by the latest Google scandal in which the corporate giant collected location information without user consent.

According to Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager of Synaptics’ Mobile Division, the FS9500 Clear ID is more secure than alternative biometrics.

The sensor can be paired with a number of authentication features, such as PurePrint, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to determine whether a fingerprint is real or faked, and Quantum Matcher, which allows for adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication.

It is not yet known whether or not Synaptics’ new in-display fingerprint sensors will add to production or device costs. However, if companies need to spend a bit more on production to implement these available security features, they would be wise to make that investment. Then, the FS9500 Clear ID could be not only the coolest way to unlock your phone, but also the most secure.

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