The Smartphone Fingerprint Scanner Gets a Heat-Sensing Upgrade

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A new way to determine if it's actually you trying to access your phone.

Fingerprint sensors—once a rarity—are now fairly common on smartphones. South Korean researchers have now given the fingerprint scanner an upgrade.

This new scanner is a clear sensory array, meaning that it could be hidden underneath the display rather than accessed as a button. It can also check the temperature of the fingerprint pressing into it to add an extra layer of security, CNET reports

So why would your phone need to detect your temperature? It's not for your health. Instead, it helps ensure that someone else isn't using a fake hand or some other form of artificial fingerprints to get access to your phone. 

Researchers from the Samsung Display-UNIST Center at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea published an article on Tuesday detailing how they developed the sensor.

"This fingerprint sensor array 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," the researchers wrote.

The researchers also confirmed that the sensor does this at a resolution that satisfies the FBI's criteria for extracting fingerprint patterns.