Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fingerprint readers in next iPhone and Galaxy? The signals point toward more biometrics in smartphones.

A touch of class under the glass? Biometrics will go beyond geek.

STORY: APPLE to put fingerprint sensor below home button >>

STORY: SAMSUNG puts fingerprint sensor below the screen >>

There's nothing new or amazing any longer about biometrics. Laptops have had fingerprint readers for years, and they are slowly appearing on some smartphones. In addition, software on phones is enabling voice-based security and facial recognition.

But is Apple about to make one of their amazing discoveries by implementing the better mousetrap? One rumor of the day is that Apple will implement fingerprint reading in their soon-to-be-announced iPhone 5?S. This is backed up by Apple's purchase of a sensor component maker. When Apple buys a company, they do it for a good reason.

The key here is that Apple engineers have supposedly been able to place the fingerprint reader below the device's single hard button. This would allow the phone to keep its minimalist design while offering a touch of WOW. And it's certainly easy to envision Apple's CEO standing on stage and wowing the audience with a single finger gesture.

As its competitors have learned, Apple has the incredible ability to drive new technologies mainstream. If Apple does include a fingerprint sensor —perhaps combined with other biometric methods— in their future generation of phones, it could leave other vendors one feature behind. And if Apple can prove this is a legit security method, it would be an interesting enterprise selling point.

Looking beyond Apple, last week at CES, Samsung demo'd a smartphone secured by a fingerprint scanner that was below the display. If implemented, this could lead to some improved natural user interfaces and great use cases for mobile finance.

For other vendors, please take note that it may soon be time to put your finger on it. I just thought I would point that out.

At CES 2013, Samsung demos a fingerprint reader below the screen:
(Photo from

Fingerprint reader on the MOTO Atrix 4G. A touch too geeky?

Fujitsu’s Tegra 3 fingerprint reader below the camera lense.
(Photo from

Facial recognition:

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