Qualcomm’s new sensor will let your phone scan two fingerprints at once

Qualcomm has taken the wraps off its next-generation fingerprint scanner as it looks to make smartphones more secure than ever.

The company unveiled 3D Sonic Max, the second generation of its in-display fingerprint sensor, at its Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, highlighting the size and security benefits the new tool can bring.

The new scanner, which should start appearing in smartphones next year, aims to take a major step forward ahead in biometric technology, not least in being able to scan two fingerprint at once for added security.


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(Image credit: Qualcomm)


That’s because 3D Sonic Max is 17 times bigger than the first generation sensor, which debuted in the Samsung Galaxy S10, measuring 20mm x 30mm versus the 4mm x 9mm in the older hardware.

That particular sensor gained notoriety due to several issues, including a security flaw that meant users with a cheap screen protector were able to unlock a device using anyone’s fingerprints.

This larger build will also make it easier to place a fingerprint for scanning, a bugbear for many smartphone users struggling to unlock their device on the move, as well as speeding up authentication to a matter of milliseconds.

Qualcomm says the new scanner is able to capture a much clearer fingerprint image than the older generation sensor, giving it far greater security protection for mobile users.

There’s no news yet on what devices will ship with the new 3D Sonic Max, but the service will ship with Qualcomm’s newly-announced Snapdragon 865 chipset, which is set to power most of the leading Android devices released in 2020.

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