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Sony Files Fingerprint Unlocking Patent

A newly surfaced patent from Sony suggests the Japanese technology giant is considering using fingerprint technology to allow users to unlock their smartphones.

Now, this is nothing new. Those of who have Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich will know there are a myriad of ways to unlock a phone, from facial recognition to the FBI-beating pattern lock.

This particular patent, which was uncovered by Unwired View, shows off a range of methods to create “light-transmissive displays” allowing sensors take in the information from the screen.

The reports details how the sensors would be incorporated into today’s screen technology using unnamed materials so that users would only see the graphics telling them where to place their fingers.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen fingerprint recognition on a handset before. Motorola employed similar technology on their Atrix, but their technology was built on the back of the phone, opposed to Sony’s plans to have it on the front.

The patent submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office says: “[It would] allow even a user who is not familiar with the fingerprint authentication to readily execute an input manipulation for the fingerprint authentication.”

There’s been no mention of release dates just yet, so it could be a long time before we see the technology rocking up on Sony devices. If it works well though the fingerprint scanner could offer a more secure way for users to protect their phones.

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