Synaptics tiny, thin fingerprint sensor fits in volume rocker
February 20, 2016 by Nancy Owano
A slim area touch fingerprint sensor has been introduced. The news out of San Jose is that Synaptics is rolling out the Natural ID FS4304 biometric fingerprint sensor. It has the flexibility to fit in small spaces, including the edge of smartphones or tablets.
This biometric fingerprint sensor is 3.5mm wide. If that doesn't grab you, then check out the header in Engadget, which tells readers that the sensor fits inside the phone's volume rocker.
Engadget's Mariella Moon said, "it can fit inside a volume rocker switch on the side of your smartphone or tablet." That is how thin and tiny it is.
In the company's announcement they said this was "an ultra-slim area-touch biometric fingerprint sensor designed with industrial design flexibility to fit small spaces including the edge of smartphones or tablets." The company said it "can be integrated into side-mounted buttons, such as the volume rocker, ultimately eliminating the footprint and cost required of creating an additional cutout in the frame or glass, and enhances the user experience by utilizing a natural finger resting location."
Referring to its tiny size, Lee Mathews in Geek.com, posed the question, "Is that really large enough to be effective?"
Synaptics said that the sensor was "incredibly hard to fool," wrote Mathews. "They've updated their SentryPoint software backend so that it's even better at distinguishing a real print coming from a finger with a pulse from a stolen print on a fabricated one."
JC Torres in SlashGear assessed the importance of a scanner being secure enough and what SentryPoint brings to the table of the Natural ID FS4304: He said a conveniently placed fingerprint scanner might be of little value if it can be easily spoofed. "Last year saw a number of successful attempts, at least on the research level, to fool such scanners into thinking they are reading a 'fake' fingerprint as if it were a real one. To address that issue, Synaptics has upgraded its SentryPoint Secure Suite, which provides security for its fingerprint scanners, with anti-spoofing capabilities."
Torres said the security measure checks for the "liveness" of a fingerprint image. The updated SentryPoint this time checks for a 'live' fingerprint as an added measure. Whether that works for disembodied fingers as well is something we hope not to hear about just yet."
The company said that they will be at the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona where they will showcase their "human interface solutions."
Synaptics is in the business of offering a full slate of fingerprint solutions with form factors that can be designed into front buttons, rear panels, edges of devices, as well as through thick cover glass, addressing button-free industrial designs.
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