New Ultrasonic System Maps Fingerprints in 3D

Fingerprint BiometricsQualcomm Technologies has unveiled its newest fingerprint scanning technology, which it called “the latest in cutting-edge biometric fingerprint authentication”. Called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Sense ID, the new system uses ultrasonic technology to get a 3D image of a fingerprint.

The new system works by using high-frequency sound waves to develop a high-quality fingerprint image from the outer skin layers of a fingertip. The company says that it can scan through lotion, sweat, and other common contaminants, and moreover that it can scan through common device materials like glass and steel, thereby allowing for more flexibility in how the scanner is integrated into a mobile developer’s device. Given the increasing importance of cool design in the feature-saturated high end of the smartphone market, that could be very important to mobile device developers.

Also important is the Snapdragon Sense ID’s compliance with the FIDO Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) specifications. That should go a long way, beyond the claims of the company itself, to lending credibility to the security of the system. And security is only increasing in importance now that mobile payments are really starting to take off among consumers, and more major players are jumping into the mCommerce and mobile payment game. With new digital threats constantly emerging in this changing landscape, Snapdragon Sense ID’s ultrasonic technology could prove extremely appealing to mobile device makers and consumers alike.