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Future fingerprint sensors will take your temperature to prove you’re human

Next-generation smartphone fingerprint sensors could feature a temperature sensor for added security. A group of Samsung Display-affiliated scientists have developed a solution that will sit under a display and offer the ability to measure pressure and temperature.

As revealed in an article in the Nature Communications (via CNET) journal this week, the new sensor could improve security by guarding against forgeries.

Such a solution could prevent artificial fingerprints being used to prize open smartphones, checking that the subject is human. The scientists from the Samsung Display-UNIST Center in South Korea say the new tech even meets FBI security standards.

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The research is titled ‘Transparent and flexible fingerprint sensor array with multiplexed detection of tactile pressure and skin temperature’ and explains how the tool could be implemented.

It reads: “In order to prevent the fingerprint forgery using artificial fingerprints, temperature of human finger skin can be detected using temperature sensors to distinguish real and counterfeit fingerprints…improving security levels further.

This can be used “to monitor the temperature range of human finger skin, which enables the recognition of artificial fingerprints, thus improving security.”

Health benefits?

Fitting in with the current shift towards in-display fingerprint sensors, the new sensor can be implemented within all touchscreen surfaces. Or, as the article puts, “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 temperature sensor could also have health benefits. Much like a phone’s LED flash/torch can be used as a heart-rate sensor, a fingerprint sensor could take your temp when you’re feeling under the weather and report the reading back to a phone app.

Samsung’s involvement is interesting, given it is among the firms pushing hard to move the biometric fingerprint sensor within the display. The company could roll out an in-display option as soon as the Note 9 handset (which will be unveiled on August 9), but it is expected to debut in the Galaxy S10 next year. Just don’t expect the temperature sensor for a few years yet.

Is the under-display fingerprint sensor the holy grail for mainstream smartphones? Or are you more concerned with getting rid of that notch and having a full-screen handset? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.