Mobile Fingerprint Scanning Upstart Vkansee Returns To MWC With Slimmer Sensor

At Mobile World Congress (MWC), which begins next week, biometrics is a big deal. Synaptics just announced its latest fingerprint scanner, and Vkansee has a new one to show off at the show, as well.

We encountered Vkansee at MWC last year and witnessed an impressive demo of its unique multi-layered UTFIS optical sensor that can read a print even if the finger is wet or dirty. The company is back at it this year, bringing out a new iteration of the sensor.

It appears that this new sensor employs all the same technology as the one we saw a year ago, but Vkansee said that it’s smaller, with an active area of 6 x 3.5 mm. Like its predecessor, the (pre-production) VK2108 sensor is just 1.5 mm thick, and it captures “third-level” data such as sweat pores and fingerprint ridges and offers the same 2000 PPI resolution. It can be bonded under 0.4-0.8 mm cover glass.

Typically, both component makers and device OEMs play coy about who they’re working with. Thus, we aren’t sure where or if Vkansee has landed any deals with manufacturers. In a press release, Jason Chaikin, President of Vkansee, stated, “When we first set out to disrupt the biometric authentication space a year ago, we didn’t expect to receive interest from the major players so quickly. With the sensors now in theirhands, we’re looking forward to finalizing our design and seeing them hit the market soon.”

Reading between the lines there, it would seem that Vkansee is still working towards getting its sensor onto shipping devices.  A year ago, Vkansee told us the same thing -- that several OEMs were evaluating its sensor. In any case, Vkansee now has an even smaller version of its sensor to show off, and the pre-production version of it is in the hands of “leading PC and smartphone manufacturers,” according to the company.

Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.