Could Fingerprint Sensors Be Coming to Wearables?

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According to Rick Bergman, the CEO of Synaptics which makes the fingerprint sensors on Samsung’s Galaxy S5, fingerprint sensors may be coming to wearables as soon as 2015. With the rapid rise in popularity with touch technologies, particularly the fingerprint sensors in Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung’s Galaxy S5, the news that the next iteration of these sensors coming to wearables seems like a natural progression. Bergman was quoted at a press conference in Taiwan saying “probably, you will see fingerprint technology in wearable devices in 2015. Using fingerprint ID sensors for a small curved display is not a big challenge.”


Synaptics’ only client using its fingerprint sensors is Samsung currently, which makes the Korean company a strong potential candidate to be the first to boast such technology on their wearable products. While Synaptics’ fingerprint sensors are currently used on the Galaxy S5 as an unlocking mechanism and for some applications an electronic signature, it is unclear as to the possibilities of the technology on a wearable device.


Whatever functions come out of Synaptics fingerprint sensor technology, the company has a long and successful history with touch technology – Synaptics was the original supplier for Apple’s first generation iPod scrolling wheel. Despite the falling out between the two companies, Synaptics still enjoyed a 44% growth in mobile devices in Q3 of 2014. With such a healthy growth, Synaptics will be sure to further their investment into fingerprint sensors on mobile devices, including wearables.


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