Why the Galaxy S10's ultrasonic fingerprint reader matters
2:48

Why the Galaxy S10's ultrasonic fingerprint reader matters

Phones
[MUSIC] Ultra sonic fingerprint readers are here. The technology promises to be extremely accurate, secure, and speedy, unlocking your phone almost instantaneously. It won't matter if your finger is greasy, sweaty, wet, or tacky And you won't have to blindly fumble around trying to find the target on the back of the phone. [BLANK AUDIO] The key to all this is your fingertip, which just like a regular key has all these tiny ridges and valleys that for me, unique pattern that only you possess. Qualcomm's ultrasonic in screen fingerprint reader claims that it will do a better job unlocking your phone by mapping a 3-D image of your print using sound waves. So how does it work? And why is it considered better than an optical sensor that's already on some phones? Optical and ultrasonic fingerprint readers both start with a sensor just 0.2mm thin. That's located several layers of technology below the surface glass. When you touch the glass, your finger sends a tiny electrical pulse that wakes up the sensor to scan your print. Now the important part is how that sensor performs the scan. An optical sensor basically takes a 2D photo of your fingerprint, It uses the display to light up the area around your fingertip And sends up a light wave that hits your finger's ridges and valleys, before bouncing back down to the sensor below. The data is then interpreted as a fingerprint that the phone will match to the one you already have on file. An ultrasonic sensor, on the other hand, is different, because it uses high frequency sound waves to detect the details of your fingerprint. This is similar to the ultrasound technology that generates pictures of babies in utero. And it's also related to how dolphins emit sound waves to locate their prey. On the phone, it works like this. You touch the screen, the sensor wakes up. It sends sound waves back up to your finger that can read four millimeters into the outer layers of your skin. Because sound waves can penetrate through liquid, it will work even if your finger is wet or gummed up with lotion or french fry grease. When the sound waves bounce back down, the sensor module converts those wave lengths into electrical signals that are then used to identify your fingers ridges and valleys. The finish product is a detailed 3D image that is theoretically harder to fool then optical sensor. Also phones that use an optical sensor can take up to a second to unlock rather than verifying your identity in under 200 milliseconds like an ultrasonic sensor can. But these ultrasonic fingerprint scanners have an important limit. They will only work with flexible OLED displays and for now those are only on certain high end phones. As all the displays gets cheaper, it's possible that Qualcomm's technology will make it's way to more phones. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Up Next

What It's Like Playing VR Football: NFL Pro Era Hands-On
nfl-cut-5-with-vo-00-00-34-02-still009

Up Next

What It's Like Playing VR Football: NFL Pro Era Hands-On

I Tried Robot Pizza in Jersey — I'm Sorry, It's Fantastic
pizza-cut-v1-copy-01-00-00-49-18-still003

I Tried Robot Pizza in Jersey — I'm Sorry, It's Fantastic

Patent Expert Reacts to Google Patents
experrts-react-6

Patent Expert Reacts to Google Patents

Next Apple Watch Must-Haves
220829-site-what-i-want-from-the-apple-watch

Next Apple Watch Must-Haves

Apple's Car Patents: A Breakdown
expert-reacts-4

Apple's Car Patents: A Breakdown

Chef Reviews Plant-Based Steak, Bacon, Chicken Breast and More
bacon

Chef Reviews Plant-Based Steak, Bacon, Chicken Breast and More

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: What We Want to See
fold4preview1-00-00-19-18-still002

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: What We Want to See

Best Air Fryers: Cheap vs. Expensive
220630-yt-cheap-vs-expensive-air-fryer-2

Best Air Fryers: Cheap vs. Expensive

A Tour of NASA's Moon Rocket Factory
artemis1

A Tour of NASA's Moon Rocket Factory

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference
fitbit-aroll-00-00-46-14-still001

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera Comparison
14-pro-vs-s22-ultra-camerasthumb.png

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera Comparison

Amazon Reveals All-New Fire Devices
amazon-fire-tv-00-10-32-04-still102

Amazon Reveals All-New Fire Devices

Amazon Unveils New Eero Devices
amazon-eero-00-01-50-00-still101

Amazon Unveils New Eero Devices

Watch Every Product Announced at Amazon's Devices Event
220928-site-amazon-event-supercut

Watch Every Product Announced at Amazon's Devices Event

Astro Gets Smarter With New Features
astro-thumb

Astro Gets Smarter With New Features

Most Popular All most popular

See NASA's DART Probe Make Impact With Asteroid Dimorphos
astroid-image-cms

See NASA's DART Probe Make Impact With Asteroid Dimorphos

DART Explained: First Asteroid Crash Images
dart-crash

DART Explained: First Asteroid Crash Images

Why You're Getting So Many Spam Calls
ty-thumb-spamcalls-v3-00075

Why You're Getting So Many Spam Calls

Meta Cambria, aka Quest Pro: What We Expect From Meta's Next VR Headset
meta-shares-their-new-and-future-vr-headset-prototypes-mp4-00-02-58-10-still001.png

Meta Cambria, aka Quest Pro: What We Expect From Meta's Next VR Headset

Amazon Debuts Kindle Scribe With a Stylus
amazon-kindle-00-02-48-13-still098

Amazon Debuts Kindle Scribe With a Stylus

Tesla AI Day 2022 Rumors: Elon Musk's AI Plans, Tesla Bot and Driverless Cars
tesla-ai-day

Tesla AI Day 2022 Rumors: Elon Musk's AI Plans, Tesla Bot and Driverless Cars

Latest Products All latest products

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference
fitbit-aroll-00-00-46-14-still001

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference

GoPro Hero 11 Black Hands-on: Super-sized Sensor for All Your Socials
gopro1

GoPro Hero 11 Black Hands-on: Super-sized Sensor for All Your Socials

I Tried Out Sony's Upcoming VR Headset on the PlayStation 5
psvr2

I Tried Out Sony's Upcoming VR Headset on the PlayStation 5

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE: First Look
watch8-sepic

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE: First Look

Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2: Better design, better performance
bose-quietcomforst-ii

Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2: Better design, better performance

Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: A Diminutive but Fun Upgrade
flip4

Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: A Diminutive but Fun Upgrade

Latest How To All how to videos

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use
googlepay-inhand

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use