We are already used to capacitive fingerprint scanners that are available in smartphones at different price points and also in laptops like the 2016 Macbook Pro. However, Qualcomm is looking into the future with a fingerprint scanner that is unlike any other.
Today, Qualcomm announced a next generation ultrasonic fingerprint reader that can read your biometric information through displays, glass and metal, which in practice can be quite useful in a number of applications.
The new sensor will not only detect your fingerprint since according to the company, it will also be able to detect your heartbeat and blood flow.
The fingerprint sensors are designed to be either standalone sensors or used in conjunction with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. Qualcomm’s Fingerprint sensors for glass and metal will be compatible with the recently announced Snapdragon 660 and 330.
In terms of the availability, Qualcomm’s Fingerprint Sensors for Glass and Metal are expected to be available to manufacturers this month, which would lead to them being incorporated in commercial devices by the first half of 2018.
This is a huge opportunity by Qualcomm as now they will have another revenue source apart from their patents and their SoC’s.
Since their sensors will cover glass, displays and metal, expect these new type of sensors being integrated in future flagship smartphones in 2018 either on their metal bodies or under their displays. Expect the Galaxy S9, HTC U12 (maybe? They keep changing), LG V series or next year’s iPhone sporting these types of fingerprint sensors. In addition, this would make it easy for Samsung to get rid of the heart rate sensor that they have incorporated in their flagship phones for the last four years.