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Fingerprint Reader


(Fingerprint Scanner)

A hardware sensor that can quickly read a person's unique pattern of ridges on their fingertip, to verify that person's identity. This is a type of biometric security.

It can be used in place of a password to unlock a phone, unlock certain content or services, or confirm a financial transaction.

The most common type of sensor is a small fingertip-size pad that reads the whole fingerprint at once upon being touched.

Some sensors are thinner strips that read only part of a fingertip with a single touch, but enough to confirm the fingerprint with confidence. These can be integrated into the lock button on the side of a phone, for example.

There are technologies that allow a fingerprint reader to be integrated into the display of a phone. Some of these read the fingerprint optically, while others use ultrasonic technology.

Some older sensors consisted of a thin strip that the user swiped their finger over.

Last updated Oct 9, 2021 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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