fingerprint scanner

Rumors in Korean media suggest Samsung may release a version of the Note 3 featuring a fingerprint sensor by the end of the year.

Following the introduction of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, biometric authentication technology for smartphones is back in the spotlight. In Asia, Pantech and Fujitsu recently released phones that feature fingerprint scanners, while HTC is expect to offer the feature to Android users in Western markets with the upcoming One Max.

While analysts are skeptical that Samsung would jump on the fingerprint bandwagon this year, a new report from Korea’s trusted ETNews portal claims otherwise. Citing industry sources, the site claims Samsung is currently developing fingerprint recognition technology, and that the first device to use it may be a Note 3 variant.

Samsung reportedly considered equipping the Note 3 with a fingerprint scanner, but the solution provided by US-based sensor maker Validity proved unreliable, so Samsung canned the feature at the last minute.

“If things go as planned, Samsung Electronics will finish development of the fingerprint recognition system by the end of the year” said an insider cited by ETNews. Samsung is reportedly developing the technology independently, but specialists CrucialTec and Parton may enter the supply channel.

Samsung is looking for a way to differentiate its solution, to avoid accusations of copying

Samsung is said to be looking for a way to differentiate its solution, to avoid accusations of copycatting. Apple integrated the sensor in the home button, while Pantech and HTC put it on the phone’s back, leaving Samsung little choice for an original design. The tech giant is reportedly considering putting the sensor of the phone’s side, though that poses technical challenges due to the small available space.

The Note 3 just became widely available in stores and the Galaxy Round, built on the same hardware platform, was announced yesterday as the first phone to feature a plastic-based display. Samsung may be opting for the same strategy it used with the Galaxy S4, to release an entire family of products based on the Note 3.

Interesting in fingerprint sensor technology? We take a close look at how fingerprint scanners work here.