Vkansee Technology develops anti-spoof optical fingerprint sensor

January 30, 2015 - 

Vkansee Technology, a developer of fingerprint sensors for mobile devices, unveiled its an ultra-thin optical fingerprint sensor, entitled UTFIS, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in early January.

UTFIS uses optical imaging to take a high-resolution picture that requires neither a lens system nor a prism for reflecting light. The result is that the groundbreaking technology allows for a 2,000 pixels per inch (PPI) image to be captured for biometric authentication purposes. Such high-resolution provides more detail for authentication systems such as Apple’s TouchID, allowing for unparalleled accuracy.

As demonstrated exclusively to BiometricUpdate.com at CES 2015, the technology enhances Apple TouchID resolution so that it becomes nearly impossible to spoof a fingerprint with a mold in order to unlock the phone.

Spoofing has been a major problem plaguing the newest wave of biometric-enabled smartphones, especially Apple’s iPhone 5s and 6 products. The tactic allows fraudsters to gain access to the devices, thereby compromising application and even mobile commerce and banking applications.

The Vkansee solution, in effect, makes it harder to spoof fingerprints by enhancing the resolution utilized by the optical sensor. The firm has applied for more than 10 patents related to this unique pinhole-imaging method.

Reportedly, the combination of pinhole imaging with newly developed photography and resolution techniques ensures that the technology generates four times the resolution of existing fingerprint sensors used by Apple and Samsung.

The wafer-thin design also differentiates the UTFIS sensor. Because the device is less than 1.5 millimeters thick, the UTFIS sensor can easily be embedded into mobile devices such as smartphones.

Jason Chaikin, Vkansee’s President, describes the sensor as one of the thinnest optical sensors available on the market today that features low-power consumption. The sensor also features an elegant glass surface industrial design with a LED vanity light.

The New York-based company, with Chinese-based manufacturing facilities, recently announced that it raised US$7 million from Aviation Industry Corp. of China. The company will use the money to produce an initial 1,000 units ahead of its U.S. rollout in 2015.

The company exhibited at CES in order to order to raise its visibility. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Chaikin notes that the “trickiest thing is getting the attention of the mobile handset makers. They are a known entity and we are unknown.”

After exhibiting at CES however, the firm did obtain the attention of some of the major handset manufacturers. The company now plans to provide engineering samples of UTFIS to potential partners for evaluation. Ultimately, Chaikin hopes that his company’s sensors will be included in the next wave of smart devices.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at BiometricUpdate.com and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.