N4BB
Just when you thought your BlackBerry could not get any more secure, it would appear that it may, soon enough. According to a patent that we’ve been given, which was filed on February 26, 2009 and updated on January 12, 2010, it clearly defines the implementation of finger print scanning technology.

The devices used in the figure drawings may seem a little archaic, but we do recall hearing about Research In Motion working on this for many years. Could we see finger print scanning technology in a future BlackBerry device? The chances are very likely, especially given the re-issuing of the patent and new details pertaining to the way RIM plans on implementing it onto mobile devices.

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“An apparatus for input and fingerprint recognition comprises a touch surface,
and a data processor coupled to the touch surface. The touch surface comprises a
first region and a second region. The second region is distinct from and
coplanar with the first region and occupies a minor portion of a total surface
area of the touch surface. The data processor is configured to selectively
operate the touch surface in a touch input mode or a fingerprint detection mode.
In the touch input mode, the data processor is configured to operate the second
region at a first resolution comparable to that of the first region to detect a
touch input anywhere on the touch surface. In the fingerprint detection mode,
the data processor is configured to operate the second region at a higher
resolution than the first resolution to detect a fingerprint on the second
region.

Touch pads are known techniques of computer input. A touch pad has a flat
surface capable of producing a signal when the flat surface is touched with a
finger.

Finger print recognition is a known technique of biometric
systems, utilized for recognizing the identity of a person based on
physiological characteristics.

Both techniques are typically not
provided simultaneously in handheld electronic devices. Although touch pads and
finger print devices are common, touch pads may have very low resolution, and
may use an interpretive algorithm to increase the apparent resolution, whereas
finger print devices may have very high resolution. The limited surface area of
a handheld electronic device may exclude the use of both touch pads and
fingerprint devices simultaneously.”

We are unsure if a feature such as this would be implemented into the majority of future released devices or if RIM intends for this to be targeted towards high-level corporations, governments, etc. This could serve a great purpose for next level security, but would an everyday consumer need it? We’re considering the pros and cons of a unique feature like this. As long as the operating system of the device could efficiently handle the scanning of your finger print and do it quickly, then we’re sold. Given the speediness of BlackBerrys current OS’ this may just be a novelty and not a practicality.

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