As our lives have become increasingly more dependent on our mobile devices the importance of securing the data found on them has ramped up in levels of importance immensely. Users who were a little more concerned with their security have for years used either a PIN code or a swipe gesture, but as the years have progressed so have the solutions for security. We’ve seen some companies continue with unique ways of securing devices, like LG’s Knock Code found on most of their smartphones for instance. Other companies have gone the way of fingerprint scanners, and while Motorola may have been one of the first to pioneer the tech on mobile phones with the 2011 Atrix, it wasn’t a particularly good scanner and was eventually abandoned.
Apple came along with the iPhone 5S and introduced a new kind of fingerprint scanner that worked incredibly well and only required a single touch rather than a swipe to read the print. Since then we’ve seen Samsung adopt the same type of scanner on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, but it looks like Samsung isn’t content with simply picking up where Apple left off here and has started work on a brand new type of fingerprint scanner. This time around Samsung isn’t relying on swiping or even touching the scanner at all, rather this new type of scanner works completely touch-free thanks to a new patented method of sensing via a camera sensor.
Oddly enough this patent was filed with South Korea’s patent office all the way back in November 2013 but the US Patent Office is only just now recognizing it. This was the time of the Galaxy S4 when Samsung was seemingly obsessed with using a phone without touching it, making us wonder if this is a more accurate method of recognizing fingerprints or possibly one of Samsung’s old gimmicks rearing its head again. Regardless the patent includes a way of recognizing a users fingerprint via the front-facing camera and an app that will help users guide their finger over the camera to get it just right. This certainly doesn’t sound like a fast way of recognizing fingerprints according to the patent but it’s possible Samsung has something up its sleeve that’s not being fully revealed here. Either way it’s perfect timing for Google’s new Android Pay mobile payments system.