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Synaptics combines fingerprint and facial recognition for smartphone security

Synaptics has revealed its "multi-factor biometric fusion engine" that can combine fingerprint and facial recognition on smartphones for security.

Published onJanuary 3, 2017

Everyone who owns a smartphone, tablet, or notebook is looking for better security measures that are also more convenient to use. Today, as part of the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show, Synaptics announced what it is calling its “new multi-factor biometric fusion engine” that is supposed to combine both fingerprint and facial recognition technologies.

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A few weeks ago, Synaptics announced plans for its optical fingerprint sensor that could be integrated into a smartphone’s display. Today’s announcement says this new fusion engine will combine the company’s optical fingerprint sensor with secure facial biometrics that have been developed by another company, KeyLemon.

What does all this mean? Well, if a smartphone does use this new technology, you should be able to choose if you want to unlock your phone via your face or through your fingerprint. This might come in handy if, for example, your hands are covered by gloves, in which case the facial recognition method could be used. Alternatively, the fusion engine could also let you sign in with both your face and your fingerprint at the same time for an added amount of security.

Unfortunately, Synaptics did not announce when its fusion engine would be added to smartphones, so it may be a while before this technology reaches your next handset. Meanwhile, the company’s optical fingerprint sensors are rumored to be included in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8.

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