A fingerprint sensor on a smartphone. It is a simple, yet revolutionary idea that is set to drive society beyond the need for passwords and PINs in into a world of strong mobile authentication. This September, with the release of its iPhone 5S, biometrics on smartphones made it into the mainstream media, and Apple is being framed as the big innovator. But those familiar with the sensor industry will certainly recognize Fingerprint Cards AB (FPC) as having been ahead of the curve on this front for some time, and it is continuing to spread fingerprint authentication throughout Asia.
FPC has been constantly been finding its fingerprint sensor technology on Asian smartphones this year. Just recently the company announced that its technology has launched on three new Pantech Android smartphones in Korea. The mobile devices are expected to hit operator store shelves in December and January.
Pantech already has a biometric smartphone (Vega LTE-A) and a phablet (Vega Secret Note) on the market, both featuring FPC sensors. These newly announced releases are an indication of the popularity of those devices.
”We have received very positive feedback on the finger sensor and its associated secure applications in Pantech Vega LTE-A and Vega Secret Note and we are happy to deploy this important feature in more products,” says Pantech’s development team leader. “Our finger sensor enabled products are all compatible with the Korean payment service called Bartong.”
Mobile commerce and pay-with-your phone solutions are one of the end goals in the push for universal strong authentication. The advanced Korean market is able to support so many models of fingerprint sensing phones because mCommerce is stoking the demand.
Though popular in Korea, physical payment via smartphone is still some time away for markets outside of Asia, experts at Money 2020 this year predicted it will be another six years before 50 percent of US citizens will be paying with their phones for retail. FPC’s constant and aggressive focus on the Asian market in this manner is encouraging, however, as consumers in other markets eagerly await an Android alternative to Touch ID. The more smartphones with sensors, the lesser the need for antiquated security (read: passwords).