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What is an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor?

If you’re looking for easier ways to unlock your phone, you might be wondering what an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is. Everything is revealed in this article.

When you set up your phone, you often get the option to enter a PIN or pattern, use facial recognition, or scan your fingerprint to unlock it and get inside safely. However, did you know that there are different types of fingerprint sensors?

The capacitive fingerprint scanner works by registering how the ridges on your finger change the charge on the capacitors when you press them, thus creating a map of your fingerprints. In contrast, an optical fingerprint scanner illuminates your fingerprint to determine its shape from the light and dark areas it scans. In addition, there is another type of scanner, and this article is devoted to it.

How does an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner work?

Ultrasonic fingerprint scanners work by transmitting an ultrasonic pulse of inaudible sound waves to your finger when it is pressed against the scanner, and this information is sent back to the receiver. So it can map out the edges on your finger for accurate 3D rendering. This type of technology can be hidden under the display (unlike a capacitive sensor) and does not need to light up during use (like an optical scanner).

What are the benefits of an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner?

One of the main advantages is that you can still use the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner even if your fingertip is wet or oily at the time, thanks to 3D scanning. So if you got caught in the rain or just got back from a workout, you can still unlock your phone like you normally would.

What’s more, they’re probably also the most accurate of the three methods listed here (although still not reliable), so your phone is less likely to be opened by someone other than you.

What are the disadvantages of an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner?

One downside is that the technology is not yet as widespread in the price range; they are mostly concentrated among Samsung’s premium phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and so this increased cost is the main factor that plays against them.

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