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2015 smartphones essential function fingerprint scanners

  • Author:Abby
  • Release on:2015-10-29

Fingerprint scanners are becoming an increasingly important feature on smartphones, 
such as this one on the back of the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. 

The Verge has an article about fingerprint scanners going from a plain gimmick to an essential smartphone feature over the last year. Shenzhen-based Huawei is credited with closely following Apple by including fingerprint scanners that worked well. Today, though, consumers have a plethora of options from all the big names in smartphones, including Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG. Google's latest Nexus phones, Huawei's Nexus 6P and LG's Nexus 5X also have scanners to fit what is a core feature of Android 6.0.

Other China companies, including ZTE, Meizu and Oppo, have announced or already released phones with fingerprint scanners. Xiaomi’s Mi5 is rumored to include an "ultra-sonic fingerprint reader" that creates a 3D map of the user's fingerprints, though the phone's specifications have not yet been confirmed. Even the lesser-known OnePlus released its second phone this year with a fingerprint scanner built into the home button and the performance of the scanner was well-received by reviewers. One reason for the rapid increase of reliable mobile fingerprint scanners is due largely to the combination of Fingerprint Cards AB's sensors and Precise Biometrics' recognition algorithms, which are now used by most major smartphone companies.

Since Apple included a fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s home button in 2013, the feature has become prevalent over the last couple years although it has only been reliably implemented in high-end phones. With Google offering official support in the latest version of Android and with the technology getting cheaper, this feature might finally be ready to make it's way down to the lower end of the market.

While fingerprint scanners seem like a minor convenience for those who haven't used them, the Verge notes that its importance becomes clear when users finally get a phone that includes the feature because they unlock their phones "hundreds of times each day." It can also be used for quick NFC payments and to verify app purchases, a feature Google introduced with Android 6.0. History shows that once Apple popularizes a convenient new smartphone feature at the high end of the market, it's only a matter of time before it works its way down. Users unable or unwilling to shell out several hundred dollars for the latest and greatest smartphones would still want what is eventually considered a core function of a smartphone. This is precisely what happened with touchscreens, and it now appears to be happening with fingerprint scanners.