Scientists: 3D-Fingerprint Scanner to Protect your Phone From Hacking


Physicists from the University of California created a chip that can receive three-dimensional fingerprints using ultrasound, potentially make mobile phones and other gadgets with similar option resistant to cracking.

An international team of physicists has created a chip that can receive three-dimensional fingerprints using ultrasound, which would make iPhones and other mobile gadgets with this option really unbreakable, says in an article published in the journal Applied Physical Letters.

Fingerprint sensor built into handheld computers and phones for nearly 10 years, but only in September 2013, they became widely known and popular due to Apple’s decision to build it in the iPhone 5S, 6, 6s  and use as a base for “unbreakable” security Touch ID.

The hackers were able to crack it in just a couple of weeks, photographed fingerprint on the glass, process it with Photoshop and print it out using a conventional printer, translucent paper, and carpenter’s glue. Thus, the myth of the invincibility of the Touch ID has been destroyed – it costs using the same methods as the “regular” finger scanners.

The problem, explains the physicist David Horsley (David Horsley) at the University of California, Davis (USA), was the fact that the fingerprint sensor iPhone, contrary to the assertions of Apple, did not read out the three-dimensional and flat shape footprint.

Horsley and his colleagues and students interested in the issue regarding the accident, before the epic with Touch ID. It tells the scientist, his laboratory almost 10 years working on a miniature ultrasonic emitters and detectors that can fit inside a small chip.

About four years ago, when physicists began to think about the commercialization of this technology, they came up with the idea – to use ultrasound to obtain three-dimensional “snapshots” of the scanned finger.

“Ultrasonic fingerprints obtained in the same way as doctors carried out the survey with the help of ultrasound. The sensors on the surface of the chip emits a pulse of ultrasound and its reflection taken from pits and bumps on the surface of the finger,” – says Horsley.

These fingerprint sensors, according to the inventors, can be manufactured using the same technologies that are used for growing chips and assembly of microphones and accelerometers. This enables them right now, which, coupled with low power consumption allow them to find a way into mobile devices in the near future.

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