|Fingerprint Cards AB’s fingerprint verification system|
As smartphone makers scramble to adopt new identification technologies, Korean manufacturers Samsung and LG are expected to soon sign deals with Fingerprint Cards, a Swedish company that specializes in fingerprint verification systems, industry sources told The Korea Herald.
The deal, if realized, would not be an acquisition, as some sources had previously suggested.
“All tier-1 OEMs will have smartphones with either touch or swipe sensors during 2014 or early 2015,” CEO Johan Carlstrom of Fingerprint Cards AB said in an email interview with The Korea Herald.
Tier-1 OEMs are major partners in a supply chain to which a firm directly supplies its products.
According to market watchers, the tier-1 clients of the Swedish firm likely include Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
The CEO declined to specify who its partners were, due to a non-disclosure agreement, but he said “The FPC has a close and continuous dialogue with all of the most important OEMs globally.”
After Apple Inc. adopted area-type fingerprint technology on its latest iPhone 5S and 5C smartphones this year, rumors have circulated that other major smartphone makers, including Korean companies, would follow suit.
Korea’s third-largest mobile maker Pantech has already installed swipe fingerprint technology, developed by Fingerprint Cards, in its VEGA lineup.
Some Korean market analysts, however, continue to cast doubt on whether fingerprint scanning would soon appear on smartphones made by Samsung and LG next year.
“Fingerprint technology is still not fully stable in terms of recognition accuracy. I do not expect Samsung or LG smartphones that are scheduled to be released next year, including the Galaxy S5, to be equipped with the fingerprint recognition function,” Song Jong-ho, a senior analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities said.
Both Samsung and LG declined to comment on whether they would adopt the scanning technology in their new smartphone models.
The Swedish CEO, however, predicted that most major smartphone manufacturers would feature the new fingerprint recognition technology, saying “I don’t believe any major OEM will skip fingerprint technology.”
He claimed that multi-biometric technology maybe introduced eventually, hinting that people would be able to see mobile gadgets with more than one recognition technology, such as iris, retina, or voice recognition, by 2016.
“I strongly believe that the fingerprint is the most convenient and intuitive when it comes to mobile devices,” Carlstrom said.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org