Yesterday we reported on Apple's latest acquisition of RealFace, a facial recognition company out of Israel. Many in the industry believe that Apple is likely to add a secondary security level to their upcoming iPhone 8 so that users will be able to authenticate themselves using facial recognition via a new iris scanner and Touch ID via a new method of integrating a fingerprint scanner behind the display. Patently Apple first covered Apple's possible shift to this new Touch ID methodology back in 2015. The advantage of shifting Touch ID from the Home Button to behind the display will make it easier to set it up on devices, and more importantly allow a user to create and apply a multi-finger combination of prints as an ID instead of today's single finger scan. Many times when it looks like Apple could get the leap on competitors on a particular front, competing technologies somehow pop out of the woodwork in record time to match Apple's features for Android OEMs.
Case in point is South Korea's CrucialTec who will be introducing a similar fingerprint technology at next week's Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Kim Young-joo, a spokesperson from CrucialTec stated that "CrucialTec has been developing under-glass fingerprint sensors for years, and it will showcase the sensors at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona."
An industry official said that next-generation fingerprint scanners will allow users to identify themselves by placing not just one, but several fingers together on the smartphone screen, which will bring mobile security to a higher level.
Different from the existing fingerprint scanners that simply analyze fingerprints, a next-gen biometric reader will also be able to scan blood vessels and pick up heart rate, which can be effective in detecting the authenticity of fingerprints.
Today Synaptics, CrucialTec, LG Display and LG Innotek offer such technology. LG Innotek makes the dual lens camera for Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and so Apple may use this supplier for both an iris scanner and the next-gen fingerprint scanner for beneath the display. Apple's last patent filing for this next-gen Touch ID methodology was published last July as the patent figure below highlights.
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