How Do Fingerprint Scanners Work on Your Phone?

Fingerprint scanners used to seem like a thing of the future — something we’d find only on movies and the TV. Fast-forward to today and they’ve suddenly become a technology some of us use in our everyday lives. From phones with fingerprint scanners, to computers, tablets and more, they’re not hard to find. Like many others, you may be wondering how fingerprint scanners work. You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to discuss how fingerprint scanners work and how to use them correctly on your devices.

How Do Fingerprint Scanners Work?

Fingerprint scanners capture the pattern of ridges and valleys on a finger. The device’s pattern analysis, or matching software, then compares the scan to the list of registered fingerprints on file. If it’s a match, your identity has been verified and you’re granted access to your device.

There are two main ways fingerprint scanners function on mobile devices: optical and ultrasonic.

Optical in-screen fingerprint scanners work by projecting light. The light illuminates the finger and then a sensor or camera underneath the screen grabs an image of the print. Then, as mentioned above, the image is compared to the stored version on the phone.

Ultrasonic, a new and more secure technology, uses ultrasonic (high frequency sound) waves. When you place your finger on the scanner, an ultrasonic wave is produced, which interacts with the skin on your finger and bounces back. In a nutshell, this type of sensor creates a 3D map of a digit versus the flat image of the optical approach.

Now that we have an idea of how phones with fingerprint scanners work, let’s discuss how to set up and use them properly on your device.

How to Set Up Fingerprint Scanner on Your Android

Though it may vary by Android device, here’s how to set up fingerprint scanner on your Android:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on your Android.
  2. Tap Lock screen and security.
  3. Scroll down and tap Screen lock type.
  4. Add your fingerprint – follow the instructions on the screen. You’ll be prompted to lift and rest your finger on the home button several times.

How to Set Up Touch ID on Your iPhone

You may have already set up Touch ID when you set up your iPhone. If you didn’t, here’s how to add your fingerprint or the fingerprint of someone else. Keep in mind that newer iPhone models use Face ID instead of Touch ID.

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. .Tap Add a Fingerprint.
  4. Add your fingerprint – follow the instructions on the screen. You’ll be prompted to lift and rest your finger on the Home button several times.
  5. When your fingerprint is successfully read, tap Continue.

How to Make Phones with Fingerprint Scanner Work Every Time

If the fingerprint scanner on your device is failing to work, there are a few things you can try.

  • Make sure your fingertip is fully covering the sensor
  • Clean the scanner with a lint-free cloth
  • Make sure your finger and the fingerprint scanner are completely dry
  • Re-register your fingerprint

If you were wondering how fingerprint scanners work, you should have the answer your need now. Phones with fingerprint scanners are more common than ever, so knowing how they work and how to properly use them may just come in handy. For more how-to guides like this, be sure to check out the Trademore blog.

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