Innovation Becomes the Prime Focus of the Biometric Sensor Industry

Pratik Gundawar


The threat of data theft poses significant challenges to smart device manufacturers. Installation of biometric sensors in devices that unlock and perform various functions based on individual features becomes a necessity. From smartphones to tablets, biometric sensors have played a crucial role in security and other purposes. Hackers are becoming smarter day-by-day and finding new ways to breach devices. Therefore, innovative approaches are essential while designing the biometric sensors for various devices.

As technology progresses, manufacturers develop innovative sensors to offer advanced functionalities for various purposes. From tech giants to startups, many companies have been working on their own biometric sensor technologies. New developments have been made, and many research activities are ongoing in various areas of applications such as fingerprint sensing, facial recognition, and others. Patents have been filed for many technologies. However, some technologies have been in the research phase. Following are some of the recent activities that focus on adopting innovative approaches and would shape the future for biometric sensor technologies:

OPPO’s Fingerprint Sensor System to Have 15 Times Larger Scanning Area

Offering a better design and features in this fiercely competitive world is one of the most-opted strategies by smartphone manufacturers. Security is vital for smartphones and the fingerprint sensor is one of the essential components. The leading smartphone manufacturer OPPO would offer a sophisticated technology in one of its smartphones this year. Its fingerprint sensor system would have a scanning area nearly 15 times larger than its R17. Moreover, it will scan two fingerprints at a time, which enables more security to end users. Another leading smartphone manufacturer Vivo previewed its dual finger scanning in the in-display sensor last year. However, the technology is not in any of its smartphone models. The fingerprint scanning will be a significant area of focus for some of the smartphone brands. The smartphone giant Apple has begun including facial recognition technology for user authentication for smartphone users.

Apple’s New Technology to Carry out Authentication Using Skin Texture Patterns

Along with facial recognition technology, the Cupertino-based giant has invented another technology for biometric sensors. This new form of biometric authentication is related to skin texture patterns. There is a new patent for this technology for wearables. An Apple watch equipped with wrist biometric sensor contains biometric sensing pixels and a processor. Moreover, an infrared (IR) thermal image along with a microbolometer for measurement of electromagnetic radiation and an optical image sensor can be included. The IR thermal image sensor will enhance the image acquisition accuracy through hair. The skin texture will appear warmer than hair, while hair will appear cooler than the skin. This technology relies on those features that are not discernible by humans. However, the processor would extract the elements of texture for matching. In addition to this patent, the tech giant has patented innovative technologies for its watch such as blood flow measurement.

Sherlock FAP 45 Fingerprint Sensor to Ensure Border Security

Compact devices with advanced biometric sensors offer various advantages such as ease in use and convenience. Integrated Biometric has deployed over a hundred units of the tablet for securing the Ukrainian border. Its novel Sherlock FAP 45 fingerprint sensor has been included in the passport-scanning tablets that have been developed by its local partner Bancomzvjazok JSC. The “BPT800” tablet is a handheld device that can be utilized in extreme conditions and remote locations for identifying travelers those want to cross the border. In an announcement regarding the deployment, Oleksandr Grianka, Director of the Bancomzvjazok JSC Border Control Systems Department, outlined that the firm is impressed with the reliability of light-emitting sensor technology deployed by Integrated Biometrics. Moreover, the device is compact-size. The State Border Guard Service gains all the benefits of two-finger verification technology without the addition of extra size or weight.

Innovative Biometric Sensor Technology for Hear-able Devices

A leading firm in biometric sensor technology launched the next-generation of low-power, high-performance Benchmark biometric sensor series for hearable devices. Valencell developed this device in collaboration with Sonion A/S, its strategic partner. The new device Benchmark BE5.0 will measure the metrics accurately with a PPG sensor and reduce the consumption of power for raising the battery life.

This will also become a platform for offering cutting edge features such as blood pressure, motion-tolerant R-R interval, and multi-wavelength motion-tolerant applications. Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, co-founder and president of Valencell, stated that the company’s approach has always been to join hands with silicon providers to breathe life into sensors and processors using its technology and expertise. For the development of BE5.0, the firm has worked with several semiconductor companies such as Ambiq Micro and Maxim Integrated along with its strategic partner Sonion a/s. The company chose Maxim because its earbuds and hearables have extreme size along with power limitations. The company helped Valecell and Sonion by reducing the size of BE5.0 by 66 percent along with maintaining the highest level of accuracy in a small package. The new device has flexible design and comfort.

Ams’s New Sensor for Bezel-free Smartphones

Tech giants have been riding on the trend of innovation. Ams, an optical sensor supplier of Apple, launched a dual RGB light and infrared (IR) proximity sensor integrated circuit (IC). This sensor can function from underneath of the OLED screen. This outlines the possibility of 3D facial recognition being included in future iPhones that will be bezel-free. The TCS3701 offers brightness adjustments and touchscreen disablement. It would sense the ambient light that passes through the display.

Ams has developed unique algorithms for detection of ambient light, though there is light emitted from OLED pixels. Smartphone manufacturers have been trying to optimize screen-to-body ratio by lowering down the size of bezels on display. The TCS3701 would offer an advantage to designers by eliminating the bezels entirely as it operates underneath an OLED display. This has been possible due to exceptional sensitivity offered by the device and unique algorithms in place to make up for optical distortion of an OLED display. These features will launch in the future iPhones.

IDEMIA 3D Face for Accurate Facial Recognition:

New technologies have been outpouring in the world and IDEMIA has taken a stride toward launching its own technology for 3D facial recognition. The company launched IDEMIA 3D Face, a software that enables 3D facial recognition for rapid and accurate unlocking of smartphones. IDEMIA 3D Face technology offers accurate calculations for face geometry in three dimensions with the help of light from the infrared camera. Moreover, companies will off the optimal user experience through a combination of reliable recognition, convenience, and extensive security. Yves Portalier, EVP and GM of the Connected Objects Business Unit, stated that though smartphones have become a commonplace, different features should be adopted in our lifestyle. So, the firm is offering the solution which is ahead of its time and provides effective and simplified usage.

Some of the new technologies have enhanced the capabilities of a device with more accurate and rapid recognition than before. Some technologies utilize skin texture patterns for accurate recognition. Leading tech firms built these technologies smartphones, wearable devices such as a smartwatch, and tablets. This would offer an edge over other competitors and help them in standing out among the crowd. The biometric sensing technologies are becoming more advanced. The market for biometric sensors is booming. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global biometric sensor market is expected to garner $1.5 billion by 2022. There will be more activities taking place in the industry and innovative technologies will be launched in near future.


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