A growing number of smartphones include fingerprint scanners that let you unlock your device or login to apps by placing your fingertip on the scanner. Chip maker Qualcomm has just introduced a new solution for detecting fingerprints which detects your fingerprint using sound rather than touch.

Qualcomm says this allows its Sense ID technology to do a better job at recognizing your unique fingerprint.

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Here are some of the key reasons Qualomm thinks Sense ID trumps the scanners found in most phones:

  • It can create a 3D image of your finger rather than the 2D image you’d get from a touch-based sensor.
  • That lets it detect more details including sweat pores, and Qualcomm says the 3D imagery makes it tougher to fake a fingerprint.
  • Sense ID can scan through glass plastic, sapphire, aluminum, or stainless steel which means sensors can be placed just about anywhere on a phone.

Qualcomm says Sense ID 3D fingerprinting features will be available first in devices with Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 425 processors. But the company plans to roll out support for all Snapdragon 400, 600, and 800 series chips.

We could start to see the first phones and tablets with Sense ID in the second half of 2015.

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