Fingerprint scanners are the norm for smartphones

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Touch ID iPhone 5S

Gone are the days when we had to punch in long passwords or swipe a pattern on the touchscreen to unlock our smartphones. Fingerprint scanners have now become the norm, allowing access with a mere touch while offering security, reports The Guardian.

Though consumer fingerprint scanners have been around for about ten years, it was Apple’s Touch ID, a touch-based fingerprint sensor technology launched in iPhone 5S in 2013, that was able to quickly and reliably identify users. Suddenly all we had to do to secure our phones was to set up fingerprint access and unlock it by placing the finger on the home button.

The next year saw rivals such as Samsung and Huawei come up with their own devices with sensors. However, 2015 has been the breakthrough year, with almost every flagship phone launched with the sensors and even some of the low-end devices jumping on the bandwagon.

Fingerprint scanners

It’s no surprise that the fingerprint technology has caught on, what with an accuracy rate of 98 per cent and the ability to unlock in under one second. And the technology is not limited to accessing the phone. Fingerprints can be used as verification for other functions as well such as buying apps.

Powering the Android players in this field are two Swedish companies, Fingerprint Cards AP and Precise Biometrics, one producing the hardware and the other the software.

Since fingerprints are not something that one can change in case they are stolen, safety is paramount. Hence fingerprints are locally stored in both the operating systems instead of a server.

So what’s next? On-screen scanning. And working as identifications could be our iris, vein on our hand or our heart rhythm.

(Images via Macworld)