An illustrated guide to how fingerprint sensors work

We touch our phones a lot. The average person will tap, swipe, pinch, and drag their fingers across their phone screen more than 2,600 times a day – nearly a million times every year. That’s why smartphone makers rely on glass screens. Glass can be made strong, clear, thin, and stands up to the 76 sessions the average user spends on their phone daily. Glass has high light transmittance, yet offers incredible scratch and impact resistance.

Few parts of the phone need this strength more than the fingerprint sensor, and SCHOTT’s AS 87 eco glass was designed to fill that role. It’s polished by fire, nearly as tough as a sapphire, and can be thinner than a human hair.

But how fingerprint sensors actually work and why glass is best suited for the job is a slightly more complicated – and amazing – story. Let us explain:

March 7, 2017


Dave Vanderpool
Advanced Optics
SCHOTT North America, Inc.