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Authentication: Sony Patenting a Biometric Sensor for Smartphones

  • Sony has patented a solution designed to enable Smartphone users to scan their fingerprints to authenticate. The sensors have been obscured and set behind the screen. According to the manufacturer, this implementation would make the identification process easier: the user would only see graphics notifying where to place his fingers.
  • This innovation has been submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). For now, no further indication regarding the possible launch of this feature has been unveiled.
  • The same document also recommends the use of front cameras for video conferencing. Here again, placed behind the screen, this feature would make it possible for the user to maintain eye contact with his speaker.
Source: Unwired View
  • The notion of simplicity standing at the heart of this initiative is of major importance for retailers and manufacturers: users are increasingly interested in technology and (considering the current debates on various security breaches –see previous Insights) growing aware of mobile risks. They expect robust authentication solutions. These evolutions also fit in a consistent trend praising the use of contactless technologies to make payments: a competitive context where the addition of advanced authentication features could make a difference.
  • Motorola Mobility’s Atrix launched last year was the first Smartphone to embed fingerprint sensors: unlike the Sony’s solution, these sensors were placed at the back of the device (and less easy to use according to the Japanese manufacturer). Finally, Sony is not the only player redesigning the implementation of Smartphones’ cameras: Apple has also patented a solution to this same end however no product has been launched yet.