THIS IS not a drill, people. Qualcomm really is designing a way of scanning your fingerprint with your screen and they're coming as soon as next year.
At MWC Shanghai, Qualcomm demonstrated Snapdragon Sense ID a method of much improved ultrasonic fingerprint detection, capable of working on an OLED screen under 1200 micrometres thick. Make no mistake, we're talking premium spec here, but we kind of were anyway.
To be precise, it can cut through 800µm of cover glass and 525µm of aluminium. This is, the company says, a significant jump from the previous best method that stopped at just 400µm leaving you with a screen just begging to be smashed, which would stop it working in the first place.
What's more, there's no more sticking your finger on your camera to take a heart rate - the sensor-under-glass can also detect blood flow to make sure you've not gone Orange is the New Black to get a phone unlocked.
Because it's in the phone, not on the phone, it makes for one less place for water to potentially get in, so vicariously, Qualcomm is going to make waterproof mobile phones even easier.
"We are excited to announce Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors because they can be designed to support sleeker, cutting-edge form factors, unique mobile authentication experiences, and enhanced security authentication," said Seshu Madhavapeddy, vice president of product management at Qualcomm. "This provides OEMs and operators with the ability to offer truly distinct, differentiated devices with added value on truly groundbreaking new devices."
Qualcomm has already said that it will run the fingerprint scanners as a separate business which means that we could see them integrated into phones that don't opt for a Snapdragon chipset or to put it in Qualcomm's words, "compatible with future Snapdragon Mobile Platforms and non-Snapdragon platforms."
But it doesn't stop there, because Qualcomm has also added that fingerprint sensors for display units will be available to test in the second half on this year. And you know what that means? Cardless biometric ATMs. That's what that means. µ
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