Future Samsung phones might scan your fingerprint as you enter your PIN

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.

samsung patent two factor authentication fingerprint pin

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.

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While I like the idea of finding innovative ways for securing my devices and my data the idea of my biometrics being constantly monitored feels rather intrusive/abusive. There has to be a place where the line is drawn with this privacy madness race that has been going for the last couple of years.