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[Other] All about Mobile Fingerprint Scanners

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Zen_Aakash IND Moderator | All posts
Last edited by Zen_Aakash on 2019/5/1 11:25

Fingerprint Technology has been around for quite some time now and for most people out there its now a part of our daily lives in terms of how we access our smartphones. But do we even know how it works?

In this article I shall tell you how, and also this won't be a hardcore science article. I shall try and keep it simple & also interesting in everyway. So let's get started!

To start the topic off, you should know that there are couple types of fingerprint reader technologies that are today incorporated into oursmartphones.

Optical CCD Fingerprint sensor (Mainly for in-display fingerprint scanning)
Capacitive Fingerprint sensor  (For Dedicated on-body Fingerprint sensor)
     Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor (For in-display fingerprint scanning and dedicated on-body)

Types of Fingerprint scanners:

Optical Scanners

Optical scanners works much similar to how a digital camera works – youneed light to capture something – in this case a picture of the fingerprint ridges. The sensors work around the image which is captured when you place the finger on the sensor. To read the Image more accurately & effectively the sensor throws a light which creates a better image of your Finger, this light also helps to pick the unique patterns of your fingerprint which helps to keepthe scanners to be more accurate & unique each time it reads a new Fingerprint.For a more technical perspective, you can go through the above Image to knowhow exactly it works technically. An important point to note that Optical Scanners which are used apart from in-display scanners are slower than below Capacitive Scanners.

Capacitive scanners

These types of scanners are widely used as they are more secure &don't rely on Image as optical scanners. Capacitive scanners use Digital formof technique to process your fingerprint data & can't be fooled easily. The capacitor isthe main component in Capacitive scanners which makes the thing morecomplicated yet secure. Going through the process here tiny capacitor circuitis placed which is a circuit as a whole. Once you place your finger on thesensor electrical charge/Signal is generated. This Signal is tracked orcollected also through the conductive plates which is the next line of operation. OP AMP - Operational Amplifier’s job is to track changes &convert the data from Analog to Digital. After this process is completed the data is analysed through distinctive & unique attributes of your finger. Asfingerprints are not the same, this analysed data helps in recording & analysing for further requested data.
Above Image also give you the Imagery explanation of the process.

In Display Fingerprint scanners & ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanners


To actually capture the details of a fingerprint, the hardware consists of both an ultrasonic transmitter and a receiver. An ultrasonic pulse is transmitted against the finger that is placed over the scanner. Some of this pulse is absorbed and some of it is bounced back to the sensor, depending upon the ridges, pores and other details that are unique to each fingerprint. You can't use tempered glass protection on the in display ultrasonic readers as they act as a barrier.

There isn’t a microphone listening out for these returning signals, instead, a sensor that can detect mechanical stress is used to calculate the intensity of the returning ultrasonic pulse at different points on the scanner. Scanning for longer periods of time allows for additional depth data to be captured, resulting in a highly detailed 3D reproduction of the scanned fingerprint. The 3D nature of this capture technique makes it an even more secure alternative to capacitive scanners. Ultrasonic sensors do have a limitation when screen protectors are applied & it can act as an obstruction. Qualcomm’s ultrasonic technology works through the glass that’s up to 800 microns thick.

There will be more & more ways of using these types of technology in the near future. We have also seen cases where the Manufacturers has raised the technology bar wherein the whole display can be used to unlock your smartphone.

Fingerprint scanners vs Face Unlock

Fingerprint scanners are convenient to use whereas Face Unlock can be a gimmicky (unless you have a phone that scans your face in 3D with a dotprojector and scanner), face unlock using cameras is a less secure method oryou can say not the kind of technology which is ready to replace Fingerprint scanners. If Face Unlock technology has to work it has to keep evolving. Thereis a lot of investment to be made when Face Unlock technology is concerned. Sensors, Camera, etc need to work together to give more secure, reliable & fast unlock method. Fingerprint scanners are here to stay & Face Unlock technology mostly will be a secondary option to be used.

So here it was a quick, elaborative & detailed Explanation, Comparison & the Future which holds on to these Important Features a smartphone packs in. Do let me know your thoughts on the same. Did you like it? Do you want more of these types of Article to show up? Stay Connected to Zentalk.

IND Dr. Zen(IN) | All posts
Last edited by starktend on 2019/4/25 18:26

To me, Face unlock isn't that reliable as it can possibly raise Security & Privacy concerns (People Suing Giants), but agree to the fact that Fingerprint Sensors aren't going anywhere. BTW nice informative article. Is there any indication regarding something new from ASUS..?
Zen_Aakash IND Moderator | All posts
starktend posted on 2019/4/25 17:50
To me, Face unlock isn't that reliable as it can possibly raise Security & Privacy concerns (People  ...

Something new always from ASUS. Stay Tuned.
USA Level 1 | All posts
ASUS Max software update 7.1.1
IND Level 2 | All posts
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