This Newly Developed 3D Fingerprint Scanning Technology Can Redefine Mobile Security

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This Newly Developed 3D Fingerprint Scanning Technology Can Redefine Mobile Security

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The world that we live in is surrounded by constant cyber threats and crimes, especially in the case of smartphones. You never know when your handset might get picked out from your pocket and be misused in many ways. Tech companies are aware of this fact, hence they are coming out with new innovations to prevent that from happening. We have retina scanning devices, highly secured passcodes, location tracking and more such measures. However, this new security technique will take smartphone security to another level.

We all thought of fingerprint scanning as a fictitious piece of design until recently, when Apple declared that it was going to include a fingerprint scanner in 2013’s iPhone 5s. Since then, many questions have emerged on the dependability of the scanning technique. As it turned out, the scanning feature was quite accurate and was received well when the iPhone 6 came out.

But even in the best of cases, the capacitive sensors used in the modern age of mobile devices are still subject to serious security leaks. One of them is that since these scanners use 2D images of your fingerprint, anyone could place a printed image of your fingerprint on the top of the sensor and gain access to your phone.

Scientists from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of California have developed a unique ultrasonic 3D fingerprint scanner that could be used in smartphones and other devices to enhance and provide better protection against unknown access. Professor David Horsley and his team have developed the new fingerprint scanner by using low-depth ultrasound to image the ridges and valleys of the fingerprint surface (and the tissue beneath it) in 3D.

According to Professor Horsley, his team realised the need for a new fingerprint scanner due to:

Using passwords for smartphones was a big security problem, so we anticipated that a biometric solution was ahead. After Apple announced a fingerprint sensor in new iPhone in 2013, it was inevitable that more would follow.


To formulate their image, the group used existing micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which smartphones rely on for functions like microphones and directional orientation. According to Horsley, the use of well known, high volume manufacturing methods means that his team’s sensor could be generated at a very low cost.

“The hope of the future is that beyond biometrics and information security purposes, the new technology is assumed to find many other applications, including low-cost ultrasound as a pharmaceutical diagnostic tool or for personal health monitoring,” Professor Horsley said.

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Rishi Baruah
iGyaan Network's newbie Rishi Baruah is a musician hailing from Mumbai. He plays drums for a Delhi-based band and specializes in Concert Photography. Oh yes, he can cook up a mean four-cheese pizza.