Qualcomm just announced an improved fingerprint sensor for smartphones, based on its proprietary ultrasound technology, that supposedly recognizes the patterns even when the finger is wet. Qualcomm calls it 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2and from what the company promises, it will address two of the biggest vulnerabilities associated with the first iteration, announced back in 2019 – detection speed and coverage.
Qualcomm’s new fingerprint sensor is 50% faster and 77% larger
Qualcomm says its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is second generation 50% faster than the first generation solution. Additionally, Qualcomm claims that its newest solution is too 77% biggerThis means that users have more legroom if they want to place their fingers on the sensor from different angles and still pass the authentication process without any problems. “This larger sensor combined with faster processing is 50% faster than Gen 1, so you can unlock your device faster than ever,” says Qualcomm.
Qualcomm’s second ultrasound fingerprint has a surface area of 8 x 8 mm (64 mm²) with a square profile, while the first generation iteration is only 4 x 9 mm (36 mm²) and has a rectangular outline. Qualcomm says the sensor can now capture 1.7 times more biometric data due to its increased surface area, for faster and more secure authentication.
The 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 will likely appear in the Galaxy S21
The company says its second-generation ultrasonic fingerprint sensor will hit smartphones in early 2021. Given the previous collaboration with Samsung, it is very likely that the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 will join the Samsung Galaxy S21 family, which will be unveiled at the next Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event on January 14th.
In case you’re wondering, Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor uses sound waves to read the valleys and ridges on fingerprints and uses the ultrasonic pulse reflection data to create a 3D map of the fingerprint for authentication. This approach is intended to increase safety compared to the previously faster optical sensors.
I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years, having worked with names like NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from the latest news, I’ve checked out my fair share of devices that range from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I’ve also interviewed tech managers and appeared as a moderator on YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets.