Capacitive fingerprint sensors development at all-time high: report

January 15, 2015 - 

Fingerprint sensing technology has become the most reliable and widespread biometric technology to date, with capacitive fingerprint sensors development at an all-time high, according to a report by KnowMade.

The report, Capacitive Fingerprint Sensors Patent Landscape, analyzes the rise in popularity of capacitive fingerprint sensors, which can be largely attributed to the increased development of electronic devices, particularly smartphones, along with the growing demand for security.

The past couple of years have seen Apple and Samsung embedding capacitive fingerprint sensors into their smartphones.

As of October 2014, more than 650 patent families — which is a set of patent applications or publications taken in multiple countries to protect a single invention and then patented in more than one country – related to capacitive fingerprint sensor have been published globally, said the report.

Siemens published the first capacitive fingerprint sensor patent in the early ‘80s, followed by Philips a decade later with the second published patent.

From 1997 to 2005, there was a significant increase in the number of patent applications published, according to the report.

The report also mentions that more than 100 new patent applicants (namely semiconductor and electronics firms) are involved in fingerprint sensing technologies, with the main IP holders being Seiko Epson, AuthenTec, Sony and STMicroelectronics.

This second wave of development has seen the emergence of many new players including Apple.

Earlier patents on capacitive fingerprint sensing technology are losing ground, with more than 200 granted patents set to expire by 2020, said the report.

The report points out that this increase in the number of new patent publications signals an intriguing growth opportunity for capacitive fingerprint sensors, as the rising demand for electronic devices is expected to drive further innovation in the capacitive fingerprint sensing technologies market.

The report categorizes the more than 650 patent families by application type, with about 80% of them disclosing a capacitive sensor intended for IC cards and electronic devices.

The report highlights the key features of touch and swipe sensors, including the size and thickness, as well as the swiftness and convenience for the user.

By providing ranking and analyzing the strength of the top patent holders based on such criteria as their portfolio size, patent citations networks, countries of patents filings and current legal status of patents, the report identifies more than 15 major players involved in capacitive fingerprint sensing IP.

The report also looks at the business sector of capacitive fingerprint sensors, which has been impacted by various mergers and acquisitions.

Finally, the report features an Excel database of all of the analyzed patents, which includes the patent publication number, hyperlinks to the original documents, priority date, title, abstract, patent assignees, technological segments and legal status for each member of the patent family.

Visit the KnowMade web site to learn more or purchase the report.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.