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Galaxy Watch 2 May Get Under-Display Fingerprint Tech

According to a new patent filing, future Samsung watches like the Galaxy Watch 2 may gain in-display fingerprint ID capabilities, turning them into the almost-perfect wearable biometric security key.

Credit: University of Washington

(Image credit: University of Washington)

Right now, people using Samsung’s smart watches as payment devices have to introduce a pin to authorize each purchase, which is kind of inconvenient compared to the Apple Watch. The latter just needs to be near an NFC terminal to pay or near a MacBook to log you in by proximity, without having to enter any security code.

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But while this is very easy and fast to operate, it opens a big security hole (just wait till your spouse unlocks your MacBook using your watch while you are deep asleep to get into your email). This fingerprint ID sensor built into the Galaxy Watch’s display, however, would offer the best of both worlds: just put your wrist near the NFC sensor, tap it with your finger, and you are done.

Credit: Patently Mobile

(Image credit: Patently Mobile)

The patent describes the use of in-display fingerprint sensors in any device, including Samsung’s phones.

The company is expected to debut the Samsung Galaxy S10 series in late February at Mobile World Congress. The new phones will reportedly use an ultrasonic, in-display scanner capable of creating an accurate 3D model of your fingerprint, which should be more secure than a standard optical scanner.

There is no indication as to when a Samsung watch with these fingerprinting capabilities will reach the market. However, the Galaxy Watch debuted in late August, so a Galaxy Watch 2 with this technology could arrive around the same time in 2019.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.