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Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor for Smartphones Developed


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Some phones today feature fingerprint sensors that can be used to unlock the device. While this is a neat idea, the sensors can be fooled with just a picture of the correct print. As reported by the American Institute of Physics, researchers have created a superior fingerprint sensor for phones that uses more secure 3D images instead.

The new sensor is actually ultrasonic, and operates in a similar manner to medical ultrasound machines. The ultrasonic waves bounce off of the surface of the finger, and the flesh within, creating echoes that can be captured and processed to generate a 3D image. This 3D image will be much harder to fake than the current fingerprint sensors found on phones, which rely on 2D images instead. Beyond this security application, the researchers believe we may also see this technology adapted as a low-cost medical tool.

The ultrasound is generated by piezoelectric transducers, which have the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for processing directly beneath them. This two-wafer design is actually fairly easy to produce, because the methods needed to do so are already used to create other components for our phones.

Source: EurekAlert!

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