There's no way to deny that security is much needed in smartphones, as they keep carrying more information about ourselves such as passwords and files. Biometric solutions like fingerprint scanner have been fairly popular in recent times as they offer more convenience to authenticate users while keeping their devices secure. Most of this sensors have been integrated into Home buttons, but the Android operating system has wanted to get rid of physical buttons for almost four years now, as Ice Cream Sandwich integrated the Navigation buttons right into the screen, providing more flexibility in their shapes and placement without requiring additional hardware. Those phones that have opted to follow this particular design element have been adding the fingerprint scanners in the back, making it hard to create a seamless design.
Sonavation has been researching about how to improve fingerprint scanning technology with ultrasound, they currently have 41 awarded patents and they have filed over 70 more pending for international approval integrated into a 3D scanning surface. Now, Sonavation has announced a way to integrate this ultrasonic biometric sensor into Corning's Gorilla Glass, which currently covers the displays of over 4 billion devices and is used by over 40 brands worldwide.
This will make it easy for manufacturers to integrate the sensor into smartphones or IoT devices, so it can capture in high fidelity the ridges and valleys of the finger, creating an acoustic fingerprint signature and it would even work if fingers get moist, dirty or oily. The sensor has been architected to be bonded under the glass in a thickness of under 400 microns and it would still provide the accuracy of today's solutions. This feature also benefits smartphone manufacturers as they would save some money as the expensive process needed to cut the glass where the Home button is supposed to be will be no longer necessary. There's no word on when we might see the first devices using this new technology and while they've announced compatibility with one product of glass from Corning, it is still unknown if it will become available in more of their products or if other makers of tempered glass will be able to use this sensor.