The idea is that the tech can be used by smartphone ODMs and OEMs to provide ultrasecurity for their phones.
Qualcomm’s tech uses ultrasonic waves to scan all of the ridges and wrinkles of your fingers. This means that it can do a deeper analysis than the 2D image created by a fingerprint mashed up against a capacitive sensor.
It can also penetrate beneath the surface of your skin to identify unique 3D characteristics of your print.
Ultrasonic waves can go through glass, aluminum, steel and plastic housings of any phone, they don’t need a dedicated touch pad or button to work. You could conceivably touch any part of the smartphone with a finger to gain access to the phone itself.
While many might see the technology as a stab in the eye of Apple, which uses the old style of fingerprint technology. Qualcomm’s major competitor is MediaTek, whose processors and related technology are used in millions of phones, especially in China and areas where low cost smartphones are selling well.
Qualcomm’s new Ultrasound fingerprint reader means it has a weapon to counter MediaTek.
The thought is that this could win Qualcomm a lot of business.