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Samsung has been including fingerprint scanners inside the home button on its high-end devices since the Galaxy S5 launched, but there’s been one major difference between the Samsung scanners and Apple’s Touch ID: On a Samsung phone, you’ve got to swipe your finger over the reader, as opposed to Apple’s implementation in which users simply place their finger on the home button.
Samsung is looking to upgrade its fingerprint sensor on the forthcoming Galaxy S6 — and presumably on other fingerprint-equipped handsets after that, according to new information from SamMobile. The new sensor is reportedly touch-based as opposed to swipe-based, so users will simply need to place their fingerprint on the home key.
Samsung’s fingerprint technology will probably continue to center around a touch-based capacitive reader, the way Apple’s Touch ID does.
Of course, Samsung’s current home button may be a little too skinny to get a good look at your fingerprint. SamMobile cites sources who believe Samsung will make its home button slightly bigger to accommodate the new sensor.
I’ve used Samsung’s fingerprint scanner on devices like the Galaxy Note 4. Personally, I’ve found the current implementation to be more trouble than it’s worth. In addition to understandable (and common) fingerprint reading failures, there’s an ergonomics issue: When holding a big device in your right hand, Samsung’s current fingerprint scanner simply isn’t great at reading your thumbprint at a horizontal angle. It worked more reliably with my index finger, but that requires two hands to hold the device.
A more reliable fingerprint scanner won’t just make [company]Samsung[/company] smartphones more secure; it could do a lot for Samsung’s mobile payment ambitions. A key part of Apple Pay’s success is that Touch ID biometric authentication is reliable and quick, so you’re not standing at a cash register trying to get your iPhone to recognize your finger.
Samsung is developing mobile payment software with Paypal and biometric verification firm Synaptics. A mobile payment system based around an effective fingerprint reader is much more likely to be successful than the rumored LoopPay case that would emulate soon-to-be-obsolete magnetic credit card swipes.