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Mobile World Congress 2015 Awards

Best Security: Qualcomm Sense ID & Vkansee Fingerprint Scanner

Security was an important topic again this year at MWC. With apps for encrypting messages, to virtual machines for sandboxing apps, to encrypted phones claiming to be unhackable, it was difficult to put our finger on just a single solution. So instead, we chose two different fingerprint scanners that overcome the limitations of current capacitive sensors.

Qualcomm's Sense ID is a FIDO-compliant ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that uses sound waves to penetrate the outer layer of skin, imaging not just the ridges and valleys but the sweat pores of your fingertip. Because sound travels well through water, this sensor still works even if your finger is wet or covered in hand lotion, something existing capacitive sensors like Apple's Touch ID have trouble with.

If improved security and accuracy aren't enough, Sense ID's ability to work through glass, metal and plastic means OEMs don't need to cut holes in the cover glass or housing for the sensor, leading to sleeker looking designs.

Qualcomm wasn't the only company to show off cool fingerprint scanning technology, though. Vkansee, a company with a background in forensic fingerprint scanning, revealed its new UTFIS optical scanner.

Replacing the bulky prism-and-lens system used by traditional optical scanners with a thin film Matrix Pinhole Imaging Sensor (MAPIS), this new technology can be easily integrated below the cover glass of smartphones and tablets. With a 2000ppi imaging resolution, Vkansee's scanner can also detect details such as sweat pores. Based on the demo we saw, this optical scanner also works with wet fingers.

Both of these technologies offer big improvements in security and accuracy over existing capacitive sensors and should find their way into products later this year.

  • g-unit1111
    I definitely thought the Samsung S6 was deserving of the "most controversial" award. However, I feel the biggest disappointment of the whole show was the HTC One M9 - which looks practically identical in every way to the M8 except for a slightly better camera. I'll be looking forward though to the LG G Flex 2 which looks like one of the better phones that was unveiled there.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    I love how the HTC Vive VR is listed as "mobile." Can you imagine walking down a busy city block, where there's taxis and people, while wearing that thing on your face? Instant.Death.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    I personally do not like the s6.
    Reply
  • DeltaProtocol
    I love how the HTC Vive VR is listed as "mobile." Can you imagine walking down a busy city block, where there's taxis and people, while wearing that thing on your face? Instant.Death.


    https://40.media.tumblr.com/c51af2d2365709d6eca3208bc9dd895a/tumblr_nj34exn0X41rv6c48o1_500.png
    Reply
  • DeltaProtocol
    I love how the HTC Vive VR is listed as "mobile." Can you imagine walking down a busy city block, where there's taxis and people, while wearing that thing on your face? Instant.Death.

    https://40.media.tumblr.com/c51af2d2365709d6eca3208bc9dd895a/tumblr_nj34exn0X41rv6c48o1_500.png

    Sorry. Let's try that again: http://bit.ly/1NWOSNj
    Maybe that's what HTC had in mind?
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Regarding the M4 Aqua: As an Xperia Z3 owner my ego appreciates that they didn't out-flagship my flagship with a mid-range phone, even though they easily (in my opinion) could have.

    The cap-less and water-proof micro USB port is very nice, although by using magnetic chargers on my phone I feel that I'm extending it's longevity my not using the micro USB port.
    Reply
  • avensis
    Mobile is now establishing itself as a key driver for innovation, and as expected Samsung introduces the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge excellent smartphones, designed to better compete with the iPhone 6.
    Reply