Qualcomm unveils the world's first 3D in-display fingerprint Sonic Sensor

Qualcomm unveils the world's first 3D in-display fingerprint Sonic Sensor

Rounak Jain

Qualcomm at its annual Snapdragon Tech summit in Hawaii announced its latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 855, the successor of the Snapdragon 845 SoC. The newly announced chipset will power the flagship devices in 2019. At the summit, the company announced that the Snapdragon 855 SoC is equipped with the world's first 3D ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, making it more secure when compared to the existing capacitive fingerprint sensors.

The existing in-display fingerprint sensors use light and rely on an image of your thumb or finger to unlock the device, however, the new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor uses ultrasonic waves to create a 3D model of your thumb, making it more secure and accurate than the alternative.

The new 3D Sonic Sensor can also be placed under the display of the smartphone or under the rear panel of the device as sound can permeate through materials. Additionally, the new technology will allow you to unlock your phone even with wet or greasy fingers.

Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM of Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies, said, 'The 3D Sonic Sensor is truly the most secure solution on the mobile market today, because the sensor can capture a whole 3D image of the fingerprint's ridges and pores. If your finger is wet, or it's oily, or if it has any other contaminants on there, the 3D Sonic Sensor will read right through that.'

Katouzian has claimed that the first devices to use the new system will be available in the first half of 2019. While Qualcomm has not announced any partner yet, Samsung is expected to use an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for its flagship Galaxy S10 integrated into the device's Infinity-O AMOLED screen.

With the new 3D Sonic Sensor, Qualcomm hopes to take on Apple's Face ID that uses a depth map made of 30,000 infrared dots to map a user's facial contours. Currently, Apple's Face ID and Samsung's Iris scanning are considered secure enough to use for mobile payments and now, Qualcomm intends to use its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for mobile payments.

While Samsung is expected to be the first smartphone maker to use this technology, there has been confirmation from either of the companies about this. We will know more about who will use this tech first in the coming days.