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  • Writer's pictureJames Mosieur

Whats Next in Smartphone Security: 3-D Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanning

Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley have developed a fingerprint sensor that scans your finger in 3D. This low-power technology could soon find its way to our smartphones and tablets replacing the current cpacitive scanners..

Apple's addition of a fingerprint scanner in 2013's iPhone 5s raised questions immediately as to just how safe and accurate the scanning would be. As it turned out, the scanning was accurate enough and the feature soon found its way to many other smartphones.

But capacitive sensors used in the current generation of portable devices are still subject to serious security leaks. These scanners only image your fingers in two dimensions, and so they are easily hacked.

Professor David Horsley and his team have now developed a sensor that uses low-depth ultrasound to image the ridges and valleys of the fingerprint's surface in 3D.

Scanning a fingerprint in this way is expected to be a more secure mechanism, and should be much more difficult to get around.

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