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This year, buy a phone secured by your fingerprint

Posting in Technology

Mobile phones will soon only unlock with your fingerprint.

Biometric technology, although still within its fledgling stage and dogged by problems including retina scanning flaws and efficiency measures, is being taken to new levels as cybersecurity becomes of paramount importance in the technology industry.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Swedish biometric-security firm Fingerprint Cards said that a Japanese firm plans to introduce the first set of mobile phones equipped with fingerprint sensor technology by Q3 this year. Pin codes are better than nothing, but for those looking for additional security -- especially if your mobile is used to handle confidential corporate communication -- then you may soon get your hands on a phone which will only unlock if your unique fingerprint is placed on the sensor.

As you place your finger on the sensor, weak electrical impulses are created, building a pattern between the different ridges and planes of your finger, which is then sent to a processor to confirm your identity.

According to the publication, Japanese companies placed a number of orders with Fingerprint Cards last year, and one order was worth at least one million phones. In addition, the firm recently opened a store in Tokyo to cope with rising demand for its technology for use in smartphones and tablets.

However, it's not certain a Japanese firm will claim the lion's share of this market niche. Apple agreed to purchase security technology company AuthenTec for $356 million in July, which also provides fingerprint authentication and biometric security technology. If the iPad and iPhone maker is considering a dive into biometric security, other tech firms are likely to face stiff competition when it comes down to claiming consumer interest.

Image credit: Fingerprint Cards

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— By on January 7, 2013, 7:40 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure