You may not think about it while you're unlocking your phone to check out the latest gossip on Twitter, but fingerprint scanning technology is tricky to implement, and it looks like Samsung is experimenting with some new ideas for sensors on its phones.
Patents unearthed at Patently Mobile show both an iPhone-style circular home button with a fingerprint sensor underneath it, and a sensor placed around the back of a phone (see also the Huawei P9, the LG G5 and several others).
It's not clear exactly why Samsung wants to ring the changes here: a rear fingerprint scanner is more convenient when you're holding a phone in one hand but is less convenient when a phone's flat on a desk, so there's no ideal solution... unless maybe Samsung is going to do both at once.
Scan you believe it?
Of course Samsung is no stranger to the patents process and there's no guarantee either of these ideas will ever see the light of day - it just shows Samsung's engineers are thinking about them. They won't want to copy the iPhone too precisely, presumably.
The same batch of patents also reveals a schematic for an iris-scanning sensor in a phone, a feature which is widely rumoured to be coming to the Galaxy Note 7 in the coming weeks. It's not the only bit of early speculation we've heard about the next phablet in Samsung's family of devices.
As for the new scanners, it's possible that the new designs give more room for the sensor and thus a better and more accurate scan. Keep your eyes on next year's Galaxy S8 phone when we might see these tweaks implemented.
- By the way, fingerprint scanning technology isn't as secure as you might think
Here's our hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy S7:
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