This smartphone fingerprint sensor checks your temperature for extra security


Forget fingerprint scanners tucked away on the back of your phone or beneath a home button — your next smartphone is probably going to have a fingerprint sensor under the screen that measures your temperature, just to make sure you’re a real human.

In an article published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, a group of Korean researchers revealed they have developed a flexible, transparent fingerprint sensor array that can be used to measure pressure and temperature.

The sensor is the work of scientists from the Samsung Display-UNIST Center at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. As they explain in the paper, most capacitive fingerprint sensors currently used in smartphones are opaque, so they need to be hidden away under a bezel, beneath a home button or on the back of the device. While Apple has circumvented this problem with 3D depth-sensing cameras for FaceID, smartphone manufacturers are yet to release a device that hides a fingerprint scanner beneath the display.

According to the research paper, the sensor developed by the team “can be integrated with all transparent forms of tactile pressure sensors and skin temperature sensors, to enable the detection of a finger pressing on the display,” and at a resolution that satisfies FBI security standards.

Don’t expect the new sensor to detect a fever through your finger just yet — the temperature sensor is designed to detect human skin temperature to make sure you’re not using a fake hand or artificial fingerprint to spoof security.

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