Qualcomm unveils new ultrasonic fingerprint scanning tech

Fingerprint scanning and authentication technology seems set to take the next step with Qualcomm’s cleverly named Fingerprint Sensors.

The other clever bit is the use of ultrasonic technology to scan fingerprints, which allows the existence of a significantly thicker piece of material between the sensor and the finger – twice as thick in the case of glass (800 µm). It also has features such as detection of directional gestures, underwater fingerprint match and can also use heart beat and blood flow to somehow improve mobile authentication.

“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, VP 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.” Truly.

Chinese smartphone OEM Vivo seems to be the first vendor to buy into this new tech and is showing it off at MWC Shanghai. Engadget managed to get hold of a unit and demonstrated how it allows the main screen to be used as the fingerprint reader rather than the come button, as is the case with current flagship models.

In other Qualcomm news it launched its Snapdragon 450 mid-range platform that features the usual incremental performance and energy-efficiency improvements thanks at least in part to a move to a 14nm manufacturing process. “With the Snapdragon 450, users are going to see a dramatically improved level of performance, connectivity, battery life and imaging performance,” confirmed fellow Qualcomm Product Management Veep Kedar Kondap.

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