When it comes to biometric authentication, the fingerprint sensor is the most reliable and convenient. Albeit there are other technologies, such as facial recognition, those aren’t as reliable as the fingerprint because of their certain shortcomings and inefficiency sometimes. Besides, fingerprint scanning offers more intentionality than other biometric authentication systems.
Putting a fingerprint reader into a device, however, still needs some modification as it takes up some space in the device, creating new manufacturing complexity. Considering it a problem, PengFei Lei, an engineer at Microsoft Asia’s Center for Hardware, has applied for a patent called “Keyset Fingerprint Sensor” to integrate the fingerprint reader in the keyboard keys.
According to the patent, the fingerprint works past a thickness of 500 microns. So, Lei recommends using ultrasonics to image the fingerprint. To guide users to the right key to use, the patent also suggests using the backlight of the keyboard to light up relevant key.
There are some external fingerprint sensors that need to be connected to the device via USB, which sometimes makes it difficult for the user. Even the built-in sensors take so much space on a device. So, integrating the fingerprint reader in the keys has become crucial. If the patent gets approved, it could fix some problems related to fingerprint sensors.