Digital interface developer Synaptics has announced a new slide fingerprint sensor that the company says is “ultra-slim”. An extension of the company’s Natural ID product line, the new VFS6170 sensor is designed for integration on the side of a mobile device.
The major benefit of the new sensor is its capacity to free up space on a mobile device. At only 2.8mm in thickness, and positioned on the side of a mobile device, it could remove the need for any kind of extra button or interface on the face of the device. That could be a big benefit for smartphone makers taking advantage of the current trend in big “phablet”-style screens, though it’s not clear if the side-mounted design could interfere with Samsung’s forthcoming new Galaxy smartphone, which is rumored to have screens covering three of its sides.
The other major benefit of the VFS6170 is, of course, the biometric security. Led by the pioneering work of Apple’s Touch ID system, fingerprint-scanning sensors have become more or less ubiquitous on new smartphones, and that kind of security will only become more important with the rise of mCommerce. While some of the larger players in the market have lately been opting for touch-based fingerprint systems, Synaptics’ latest offering is likely to find a home on at least some of the myriad devices hitting the market.