Microsoft is seeking to build fingerprint sensors into touchscreens and keyboards to authenticate users, but the move could potentially change ecommerce and advertising.
In two separate patents updated or granted in 2017, the company shows its commitment to bringing fingerprint sensors to devices. A similar technology has been available in Apple iPhones since 2013.
For advertising, ecommerce and search, the technology could potentially provide the same type of data as eye tracking only through fingerprint sensors, although inventors of the patents make no mention of using the technology for such actions.
In the first patent, Microsoft has received a patent for an under-display fingerprint sensor originally filed in July 2016.
The patent describes various implementations for a fingerprint detection system using an image-sensing display. The idea is to use a photoemitter and a photodetector under the display screen, along with sensing triggers. The combination launches an image scan when a finger touches the display, according to one report.
Another Microsoft patent that would put a fingerprint sensor in the keys of computer keyboards would not only impact digital identification and authentication, but ecommerce and advertising.
The patent called Keyset Fingerprint Sensor would integrate the fingerprint reader in the keyboard keys. The fingerprint sensor in a computer’s keyboard enables a user to press a key to conduct biometric authentication, according to one report.
This technology would use ultrasonic measurement technology to read the fingerprints. "Keys use backlighting to indicate where users would place their fingerprints for active biometric authentication," according to the report.