Fingerprint Sensors 6 Months Away From Android Phones



The iPhone 5S was introduced last month and was released just a few weeks ago. Apple was able to incorporate a fingerprint sensor within the home button. The fingerprint sensor was made possible by AuthenTec, a biometric security company that Apple purchased back in 2012.

The fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S allows users to unlock their phones with a tap, and Apple calls this feature Touch ID. Apple has also made it possible to use the fingerprint sensor to make purchases on the iTunes store.


So far these are the only two features in the phone that can use the fingerprint sensor. It is almost certain that Apple will come up with other uses for the fingerprint reader, like mobile payments.

Michael Barrett, who cringes every time he has to enter a passcode to unlock his phone, predicts that we will be able to choose from the latest Android phones that will come with a fingerprint sensor.

He predicts that the fingerprint sensor let him access a wide range of his online accounts.

That is the scenario the FIDO Alliance, a group of 48 tech companies, led by PayPal and Lenovo, is currently hustling to implement this as a technical standard.

“The intention of FIDO is absolutely that it will allow consumers to have access to mobile services that they can use with very low friction, while keeping good security,” says Barrett, president of the FIDO Alliance. “That’s explicitly what we want to build.”

As this gains traction, it should result in a rapid change in mobile computing, much like the Wi-Fi standard did. FIDO should reduce, if not completely eliminate, the need for passwords to access accounts and content on mobile devices.


Apple’s Touch ID is not currently FIDO compliant, however, Barrett says that Touch ID could be easily adopted to FIDO.

“Our view is that it’s possible Apple might choose to start using FIDO, but that’s probably a couple of years out.”

Barrett is on a mission to get other hardware makers and online companies to arrive at a consensus on common rules in the authentication process.

Biometric sensing technology is very well understood. On the other hand, passwords and poor password habits remain the only way to access online accounts.

“We make tradeoffs to balance security with convenience,” says Manoj Nair, general manager of identity trust management at RSA. “The next generation of identity protection will allow us to be more convenient and secure at the same time.”

This is where FIDO comes in, the alliance is trying to create open standards that any company can easily adopt.

The alliance launch in February with a handful of founders and has grown rapidly.

Barrett predicts that FIDO-equipped Android devices, along with an array of commercial services using FIDO protocols, are on track for an early 2014 rollout.

Would you like to see fingerprint sensors be a standard in mobile devices?

[via USA Today]


  • gerry

    We use finger scanning to sign in and out at work. Honestly, the scanner suck. Maybe they’ll upgrade to a better scanner.

  • daftchemist

    I’m over it. I’m fine with a password. I’m really only interested in technology that makes devices thinner and faster. Granted its fun, I just hope that this is always an option for those who want it and not forced upon every device.

  • Chrome262

    thats the point right? that this version in the phone is better, the company they bought know that they suck and tried to make it better. I don’t have one yet, and won’t for a while. For those that have it, do you know if this works when your fingers are a big beat up? My fingers, when I worked construction, often pealed due to working with wood. Now I work in a lab but still it would be nice to know if this adapted a bit.

  • DroidRules

    What the??? Android phones have already had finger print sensors… check out the Motorola Strictly from TWO YEARS ago!

  • DroidRules

    What the??? Android phones have already had finger print sensors… check out the Motorola Atrix from TWO YEARS ago!

  • Rio

    Yeah but it was a horrible implementation and was not ready for widespread use.

  • dr evil

    You’d actually call whatever was in the atrix a fingerpeint sensor? It was useless, face it.

  • dr evil

    Works fine on blistered, peeling, chafed finners.

  • Eric

    Maybe blackberry will come out with this innovative feature…

  • crosseyed_mofo

    What the??? No WAI!!!

  • Chrome262

    cool, then maybe it is better than the industry norm

  • dr evil

    Its definately better than the types you see on laptops. You know, the kind with a metal strip where you need to slide your finger across. This one works in a stationary manner and seems to work 9.5/10 times.