The first smartphone with a fingerprint scanner that I can recall was the Atrix 4G. Back then, you literally had to swipe your finger down on the scanner, a bit like we have seen on modern day laptops. The scanner was barely accurate and took forever to read your fingerprints. Unsurprisingly, it failed to generate any excitement and the Atrix lineup died a painful death. Fast forward a few years, Apple decided to add the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s, the first proper commercial phone to come with one.
Samsung was quick to follow up with the Galaxy S5 and we were well and truly in an era where fingerprint scanners were a feature of high-end smartphones. However, these scanners were still slow and not really accurate. Fast forward to 2015 end and you see a very different picture. Barely two years after we saw the iPhone 5s, today pretty much every flagship device, be it in the high end or budget comes with a fingerprint scanner, and these scanners are no slouch, they are really fast.
A lot of credit for the same must be given to Google, who with Nexus Imprint on the Nexus 5X and the 6P really set the standard after Apple made the TouchID 2 really fast on the iPhone 6s. Thanks to the standards written down for using fingerprint scanners on phones with Android Marshmallow, we started experiencing phones which took a fraction of a second to realise it was indeed you, trying to unlock your phone with the fingerprint recognition and let you in. Fair to say today, everyone expects phones to come with the fingerprint scanner, why is it? Here is what I personally think:
People take security seriously
Smartphones are more powerful than ever today. they shoot great pictures and can store tonnes of data. Thanks to this, our smartphones are a hub of plenty of personal content. It could be pictures, passwords, documents and so much more. With so much riding on a phone, it is kind of obvious that you would want it all to be secure. Unlocking phones using passcodes or even patterns can take time and be tedious, and not to forget these can be guessed if the person knows you well. With a fingerprint scanner, there is little chance of your things falling into a wrong pair of hands. Your data is secure and can only be opened with your own prints.
Players in budget category have made it right to expect
With Coolpad, Le Eco and OPPO leading the way by bringing in fingerprint scanners to smartphones in the budget category, a customer spending even Rs 10,000 in India expects to be picking a smartphone with a fingerprint scanner. And since most brands pay attention to what the demands of the customers are, most of the smartphone in this range are now coming with fingerprint scanners. Therefore, no more is fingerprint scanner seen as an aspirational feature but something that people have started expecting in their smartphones.
In today’s time, it’s not about which smartphone has a fingerprint scanner, instead what matters is which smartphone has the fastest fingerprint scanner. And again OPPO leads the pack, thanks to it’s super fast fingerprint scanner on the F1 and F1 Plus smartphones. But, why believe us? Have a look at the video below to witness it yourself
Other than unlocking your phones, fingerprint scanners can do a lot
Fingerprint scanners are being used by manufacturers for functions other than just unlocking devices. For example, there are devices, which can use the fingerprint scanner as shutter release, so you can just put your finger on the scanner and it will click a picture. This is a really cool implementation primarily when clicking a selfie so that you are not always looking to find the on-screen shutter button especially with screen sizes becoming bigger than ever. There have been suggestions made in order to use the scanner for scrolling, again something, which would be interesting.
Freeing you from entering your passcodes
It is an absolute pain, every time you want to purchase an app you must enter your passcode. Or for example, you want to lock an app, you must enter the passcode. The fingerprint scanner has ensured both of these are taken care of. Especially on an iPhone, you no longer have to enter your Apple ID and passcode to download the application. Several apps like Telegram are also using fingerprint scanners as quick check if you want to secure your communications.
Overall, fingerprint scanners have come a long way. We have seen a lot of improvement not only in hardware and implementation but also in application. Who would have thought that you could use the scanner to replace a physical camera shutter button?
No doubt that the trend of fingerprint scanners is here to stay, and we are super psyched to check out what the smartphone brands are going to come up with next.