While acknowledging that the biometrics trend on smartphones was started by Apple with their iPhone 5S, the CEO of CrucialTec Charles Ahn stated in a new Korean report that his company will be introducing a new touch screen panel embedded with fingerprint sensors, which will present a new paradigm for the smartphone touch panel market. Ahn warned against those who may attempt to infringe on its touch panel and fingerprint technology patents, saying CrucialTec was prepared to respond aggressively. Ahn added that "We have been beefing up our legal team to take action against any attempt to steal our technologies."
CrucialTec's CEO is on record stating that "The new touch screen panel, known as a matrix-switching touch screen panel, will bring dramatic change to the market. He went on to predict that smartphones featuring the panel would come out as early as the first half of this year. According to Ahn, "The touch screen also will usher in an era of bezel-free phones."
Ahn further noted that his company's technology that combines a fingerprint sensor with a touch panel was more than a year ahead of other competitors. Only two companies, CrucialTec and Synaptics, own core technology required for the development of such panels.
According to CrucialTec, "An area-type fingerprint sensor sporting health tracking functions such as a heart rate monitoring sensor is also expected to be developed."
As far as CrucialTec "beefing up" their legal team to take action against potential threats from competitors, it should be noted that Apple has at least two patent pending biometric scanner alternative designs on record that place the scanner behind the display. We covered Apple's first invention in 2012 and the other in 2013 as supported by the patent figures shown below.
Conceptually speaking, Apple's alternative designs for a biometric scanner behind a display could be applied to a future wearable device that bypasses the traditional Home Button.
In the future, a wearable computer may require a fingerprint match before it connects to a host, such as your iPhone. Apple revealed such an invention this past week. Such a design and security feature would likely be incorporated behind the display of the device instead of implementing it in the form of the current Touch ID based Home Button.