A patent application filed by Samsung, and published in South Korea this week, shows how the phone maker wants to use its in-display fingerprint sensor to verify it is you entering that PIN or password.
This year, Samsung has launched a plethora of phones with a fingerprint sensor built into the display. Still, as useful as that is, many users simply continue to use their preferred old school authentication methods, such as PIN, password or pattern. Future devices, however, might let you use both, as GalaxyClub points out.
Samsung patent: Combining fingerprint sensor and PIN
Earlier this week, a patent application was published in South Korea (Electronic Device Comprising Fingerprint Sensor And Method Of Operating Thereof, PDF) that offers a glimpse into Samsung's user authentication plans. The patent describes a device that scans your fingerprint while you use any of the other unlock methods, verifying it really is you that enters the required information.
Several methods are described to achieve this. For example, the devices might force you to touch the fingerprint scanner by placing one of the required digits over the sensor. Also, multiple sensors could be used to scan your print while you enter your information. The third, most natural method, however, uses a much larger sensor that covers a large portion of the display. Such a sensor will be able to scan your print no matter the code, password or pattern you enter.
Interestingly, we recently saw rumors about Samsung seeking a larger fingerprint sensor for the upcoming Galaxy S11. Still, we do not want to jump to conclusions here, as it remains notoriously hard to predict if and when patented ideas will become reality. Furthermore, while the Galaxy S11 is likely to have a larger sensor, it is also clear that sensors covering a significant portion of the display will not be ready for mass use in 2020.