Sony fingerprint-scanning screen patent appears

Finally – those fingerprint-scanning mobile screens shown in countless films will soon be real

Sony has filed a patent for a fingerprint-reading display that will mean watching your screen won’t be a one-way experience. But although the idea of a screen with a built-in camera might make you think of Orwell's telescreens, you don't have to worry. It can only read your fingers – for now.

Just like a gadget from a Mission: Impossible film, Sony's next generation smartphones could feature light-transmissive displays that read your fingerprints. Unlike Motorola’s Atrix, which has a biometric fingerprint reader to unlock the device, Sony's method could be more accurate and therefore secure. And with NFC payments en masse just around the corner, Sony’s timing couldn’t be better.

The patent also includes proposals for a camera sited behind the screen – so no more awkward video chats with a friend that is looking up at their camera as if staring at your hairline. Since these are just patents right now though, don’t hold your breath for a release this year.

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