Explained: Different fingerprint scanners available on smartphones and how they work

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Smartphones have a variety of security measures, such as PINs, passwords, facial recognition, and more, to protect your device from unwanted access. A fingerprint scanner is a type of electronic security system that uses fingerprints for biometric authentication to give users access to their devices. Fingerprint scanner Now a common security measure present in most mobile devices.
What is a fingerprint scanner?
We all know that each person has their own unique fingerprint, a feature that helps devices successfully identify individual users. With the advancement of technology, manufacturers were able to include fingerprint scanners (or sensors) as optional security features for mobile devices. Fingerprint scanners are now a common thing on most mobile devices because users enjoy them for security and convenience.
These sensors capture the minute curves and edges of a finger and use the device’s pattern analysis / matching software to process the data and compare it with a list of registered fingerprints. Access to the device is granted only if there is a successful match and the user’s identity is verified. The method of capturing data varies depending on the type of sensor used in the device. Now, let’s talk about different types of fingerprint scanners and how they work.
Different types Fingerprint scanner available on smartphones
Optical Scanner: Optical scanners usually make photocopies of the finger. Most scanners illuminate the finger to provide the perfect contrast of the line as the light-sensitive sensor registers the information to create a digital image. Most fingerprint scanners connected to PCs use optical sensors.
Capacitive scanner: Capacitive scanners use electricity instead of light to determine fingerprint patterns. The device measures the charge of a finger as it rests on a touch-capacitive surface. The sensor determines which curve of the finger shows a change in capacitance and which one does not change at all. All this data is then used by the sensor to accurately map the fingerprints. Most smartphones use capacitive sensors for fingerprint scanning.
Ultrasonic Scanner: Ultrasonic scanners use sound waves to work. This is similar to the ecolocation process used by bats and dolphins to find and identify objects. The hardware is designed to discharge ultrasonic pulses and measure the amount that comes back. The curves and edges on your fingers reflect the sound differently, ultimately helping ultrasonic scanners to create a detailed 3D map of the fingerprint patterns. The 3D ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor made by Qualcomm has been adopted in Samsung devices.
Optical-capacitive scanner: While ultrasonic fingerprint scanners are not the only option to hide sensors on manufacturers’ displays, optical-capacitive fingerprint scanners can also be used for the same purpose. These scanners include both the “real touch” requirements of capacitive sensors and the speed and power efficiency of optical scanners. The technology is embedded in mobile devices by inserting a sensor at the bottom of the display that detects light reflected by a fingerprint through a pixel gap.




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