Modded Nexus 5 Sports Fingerprint Sensor

Mobile BiometricsGoogle has quietly revealed a modified Nexus 5 that uses a newly-included fingerprint scanner, according to an Ubergizmo article by Tyler Lee. The revelation came by way of a video demonstrating the company’s efforts to test the new Android M operating system, which features native fingerprint sensor capabilities.

The modified handset is likely exciting for the many fans of the device, but according to Lee it was made strictly for Google’s own testing purposes, with no plans for a commercial release. Nevertheless, it suggests the possibility that Google is planning further iterations of the Nexus that will indeed include embedded fingerprint sensors, which would make a lot of sense given Android M’s biometric capabilities and the impending release of Android Pay, Google’s new mPayment platform.

The company’s embrace of biometric authentication is largely a product of the pioneering efforts of Apple and its own Apple Pay mPayment platform. The introduction of embedded fingerprint scanning technology in all mobile Apple devices helped to pave the way for secure mPayment authentication, and has spurred numerous competitors to follow suit as the technology has become standard across the industry. And if Google is going to encourage the many third-party smartphone makers using Android technology to embrace biometrics themselves, the company will probably want to lead by example, as it is doing with its modded Nexus 5 and, presumably, whatever forthcoming devices it has planned.