Samsung is acquiring biometrics firm Fingerprint Cards for $650 million in cash. The deal will provide Samsung with access to a number of fingerprint products that Fingerprint Cards produces, including swipe and area sensors. Fingerprint Cards' sensors have been used in keyboards, door locks, and even vehicles worldwide, but the firm notes "the technology can be implemented in volume products such as smart cards and mobile phones."
The most obvious use for fingerprint technology right now is in smartphones, especially after Apple introduced its iPhone 5S with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner. While HTC is rumored to be preparing a One Max with a fingerprint scanner, some reports suggest Samsung may have been considering its own fingerprint tech for the recently released Galaxy Note 3. That particular handset didn't debut with any fingerprint sensors, but Samsung is clearly interested in the technology that competitors are now taking advantage of.
Samsung wants to create a fingerprint future
Timing aside, Samsung CEO believes fingerprint readers will be popular in future. "Swipe sensor technology is phenomenal in every way and are going to be loved by millions of people around the world," said Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun. "Together we will create the future."
Update: Fingerprint Cards has denied that the acquisition is taking place, blaming it on a fake press release. After posting news of the purchase on its own site, Fingerprint Cards has now issued a full retraction:
The news in today’s media that Fingerprint Cards AB has been acquired by Samsung is incorrect.
The previous pressrelease was not sent by Fingerprint Cards AB.
Trading in the share has been suspended.
What has happened will be reported to the police and to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.
Fingerprint Cards spokesperson Johan Carlstrom has revealed to The Verge that the PR is fake. "It is our news agency Cision that should have controlled the authenticity of the PR before publishing. It is also Cision that links all PRs to our webpage." In an interview with Reuters, Fingerprint Cards CEO Johan Carlstrom confirmed "a false press release has gone out," before noting that the Swedish firm has not had any discussions with Samsung.
PR news service Cision has since confirmed the bogus press release. After a preliminary investigation it says, "The company has followed its procedures and has been subject to a sophisticated fraud." It has turned over the case to local authorities for further investigation. This isn't the first time that fake PR has caused a stir in the tech world: less than a year ago, PRWeb published a fabricated story that Google had purchased a small wireless company called ICOA for $400 million.