First Commercial fingerprint sensor SDK for Android smartphones has arrived thanks to AuthenTec
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 04th, 2011 at 1:43 PM Filed Under Latest News, Press Release
Biometric fingerprint sensor SDK for Android, just add NFC phone with a sensor?
Have you been looking for a fingerprint sensor SDK for your Android apps? Biometrics are the way we are going to protect our NFC mobile wallets, on our NFC phone and it seems that everyone but the OEMs realizes this. The leader in biometric fingerprint sensor software, AuthenTec, has just upped the ante and given app developers the opportunity to add fingerprint sensor authentication to their apps. AuthenTec has been busy lately – just yesterday, we saw the firm get together with NXP and DeviceFidelity to complete a biometric NFC payment and now they have another announcement. AuthenTec has launched an SDK for Android developers to add biometric fingerprint sensor authentication to their apps with the use of their fingerprint sensor SDK.
“With the proliferation of Android smartphones,we see a tremendous opportunity for developers to apply their creativity to applications that leverage the convenience and security of AuthenTec fingerprint sensors. Developers now have a platform to create truly unique apps for the newest input device for smartphones –fingerprint sensors –and open a new world of features.,” said Art Stewart, AuthenTec Vice President of Smart Sensor Solutions. “We look forward to partnering with the developer community to offer what we expect to be a growing base of fingerprint-enabled Android smartphones an exciting portfolio of apps that leverage the personalization and security functionality of our sensors for remote access, games, personalized apps and other features that have yet to be imagined.”
What kind of apps would benefit from the biometric fingerprint sensor SDK?
As convergence takes hold we seem to be using our phones for more and more. We store our passwords on them, we store our bank logins and other sensitive data on them. To be quite frank, at this time they aren’t as secure as they need to be. Some NFC phones have secure elements that protect details in our mobile wallets, but outside of this if our smartphones fell into the hands of a semi decent hacker, we could lose valuable identity information and risk having our identity stolen. Apps for social networks, email apps and many others have information about us that could be used to compromise our identities and be used in nefarious ways. With your Facebook page, an identity thief could likely get hold of a photo of you and ascertain your birthdate. In your email, they could probably score some other details about you and that is why we need on-phone biometric fingerprint sensor security in the apps we use.
Social media apps, email apps, password storage apps, mobile banking apps and many more would be more secure with the use of a fingerprint sensor authentication feature. AuthenTec’s SDK allows developers to add fingerprint sensor authentication features right now. But then there is the problem of only one phone on the market having a fingerprint sensor, which is the Motorola Atrix 4G. This phone isn’t even an NFC phone, without some help from a case from a company like DeviceFidelity. We are in the same chicken or egg position as we are with NFC phones, where there are not enough services for NFC and so there is not enough public demand and the OEMs have been as slow as shifting continents to implement new technologies outside of processors, RAM, graphics, and displays. The same situation appears to be plaguing fingerprint sensors being deployed in smartphones. The answer is for developers to take the first move with the new SDK and add support for fingerprint sensor authentication. When there are enough apps within the Android Market, the OEM phone manufacturers will see fingerprint sensor authentication as a differential feature that they want to add to their smartphones. However, it may be a tough call to get developers to use the fingerprint sensor authentication SDK functionality and spend the extra development time when it cannot be used yet.
The frustration factor for developers and AuthenTec with industry support for fingerprint sensor authentication and why developers need to start building the feature in to apps today and use AuthenTec’s SDK
It’s like someone developing a key before the lock existed and enough keys needing to be in circulation before a lock company would support it. In economics, without a grassroots push for the fingerprint sensor authentication, technology is likely to stall before the traditional rules of supply and demand can take effect. What is needed is for Google, Samsung or Apple to make an NFC phone that supports fingerprint sensor authentication and create the ground swell, or for AuthenTec to find a way to use a smartphone’s camera as the scanner.
We love the fact that AuthenTec has made this fingerprint sensor SDK available. We think the company has a bright future ahead and we commiserate with them about the lack of fingerprint sensor phone manufacturer support in the marketplace at this time. It appears likely as big NFC mobile wallet and as financial institutions’ profit relies more and more on smartphone security, this situation will change. If you are a forward thinking developer with an app that can use fingerprint sensor authentication, we’d love to see how you use this SDK. We also think that the more progressive devs that employ the fingerprint sensor SDK may benefit from the very fact that their app supports the function, even when customers’ phones don’t support it.
Head over to AthenTec’s Dev center if you are a developer and are interested in the fingerprint sensor SDK, by hitting up this link.
AuthenTec Announces Availability of the First Commercial Fingerprint Sensor Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android Smartphones
MELBOURNE,Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AuthenTec (NASDAQ:AUTH),a leading provider of security and identity management solutions,today announced the immediate availability of their new software development kit (SDK) for fingerprint sensor applications on Android mobile phones. The new SDK,which can be accessed from the AuthenTec website,allows developers to create custom applications around AuthenTec smart sensor features including convenient fingerprint authentication,mobile payment security and user personalization.
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