Samsung may be planning to integrate fingerprint scanning more deeply into the user interface of its next smartphone, a newly published patent filing suggests.
The patent details a system that would let users swipe a smartphone’s fingerprint sensor to directly access certain apps. A form of this concept recently emerged in Google’s new Pixel smartphones, which let users swipe down to see notifications; but the Samsung system would allow users to swipe in four different directions, with each one linked to a different app.
The patent was filed about a year and a half ago, suggesting that the company has had some time to develop a working version of the system, but whether it’s actually going to be realized in a new device is an open question. It is certainly possible, but the system may offer less utility with the emergence of iris scanning; there are strong indications that Samsung is planning to bring the modality to the anticipated Galaxy S8, which will presumably allow users to forego fingerprint authentication entirely. Then again, even in such a case Samsung is unlikely to ditch the fingerprint scanner – empowering users to choose their prefered authentication modality – so it may indeed go ahead and make it even better with this new functionality.
October 28, 2016 – by Alex Perala