Synaptics Announces All-In-One Fingerprint and Facial Recognition System for Mobile Devices

Ahead of CES 2017, Synaptics today announced a new multi-factor biometric engine for use in smartphones, tablets, and notebook PCs. The new platform, made in partnership with facial recognition company KeyLemon, incorporates both fingerprint and facial recognition, allowing a mobile device to be unlocked in multiple ways depending on what's most convenient for the user.

The system also provides additional security for financial transactions and the unlocking of other sensitive information, as two modes of authentication can be required.

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The Synaptics multi-factor fusion engine combines authentication scores from multiple biometrics to determine verification. This increases overall system security as both fingerprint and facial factors have to meet minimum threshold requirements before authentication. In addition, the fusion engine improves usability as lower individual verification thresholds still result in greater security.
The multi-factor fusion engine features anti-spoof technology, using AI to distinguish between fake and actual fingers. The facial recognition feature in the platform also checks for eye blinking and head movement to prevent spoofing. While Synaptics is focusing on finger and facial recognition at the moment, Synaptics VP of marketing Anthony Gioeli says future iterations will include "additional biometric and security factors."

Synaptics also recently introduced fingerprint sensors capable of scanning a fingerprint through glass, allowing for button-free display designs able to take advantage of fingerprint recognition functionality.

Apple is working on a similar technology for the iPhone 8, but while Synaptics is an Apple supplier, Apple likely has its own proprietary solution in the works.

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Synaptics Debuts New Fingerprint Sensors Capable of Scanning Through Display Glass

Amid rumors suggesting Apple plans to debut a 2017 iPhone with an edge-to-edge display with built-in Touch ID, Synaptics has announced its own under-glass fingerprint detection solution, debuting a new line of Natural ID FS9100 optical fingerprint sensors.

The FS9100 sensors are capable of scanning a fingerprint through 1mm of full cover glass, allowing for button-free display designs that are still able to take advantage of fingerprint recognition functionality.

According to Synaptics, the sensors have been specifically designed for placement under cover glass, including 2.5D glass, located in the front, bottom bezel of smartphones and tablets.

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The FS9100 sensors eliminate the need for cutouts on the display of a device, and because they're under glass, they're scratchproof, waterproof, and respond well to wet fingers. Wet finger performance is something that causes most fingerprint sensors, including Apple's, to fail.

Synaptics says its sensors are also designed to be thin and consume a minimal amount of power, while also using AI to distinguish between fake and actual fingers.
"Synaptics' FS9100 family of fingerprint sensors represent a new breed of optical fingerprint sensor technology that is designed to meet the needs of mobile devices, including the ability to image through thick 2.5D glass. In addition to opening the door to new industrial design options, it enables OEMs to provide highly durable, button-free cover glass and more easily provide water resistant products while eliminating low yield glass processing." - Synaptics VP of marketing Anthony Gioeli
Apple likely has its own proprietary solution in the works for the display of the 2017 iPhone 8 because it has been in development for some time and is said to have in-house engineers working on the product, but Synaptics is a known Apple supplier and provided Apple with LCD display drivers in 2015 following its acquisition of Renesas SP Drivers, a chip company Synaptics purchased in 2014.

If the rumors are true, Apple's iPhone 8 will include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a camera, and other components that are located behind the display of the device, entirely eliminating the existing home button and allowing for an iPhone that looks like a single piece of glass.

Other rumors for the iPhone 8 suggest it will include a glass body, an OLED display, a faster A11 processor, and wireless charging functionality.

Synaptics' optical fingerprint sensors are scheduled to begin sampling during the first quarter of 2017, with production to begin in the second quarter of the year.

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