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Seiko Epson has developed a paper-thin fingerprint sensor
measuring 0.2 millimeter in thickness, which may help bring
an extra level of security to a range of items in the future.
When touched, the sensor reads fingerprint patterns based
on the faint electric current emanating from the user’s fingertip.
The fingerprint sensor’s ultrathin profile means it can easily be
incorporated into a variety of commonly used items. Among the
applications that Seiko Epson is targeting are self-authenticating
credit cards, in which a tiny on-card processor is used to compare
the captured fingerprint data with the user’s fingerprint data stored
in an embedded memory. A non-matching fingerprint would render
the card unusable, preventing abuse in the case of loss or theft.
The company aims to commercialize the sensor by 2010.