A new touchscreen display, which is capable of identifying fingerprints, is closer to reality.
Not only will the display redefine online security but could revolutionise the way in which humans and computers interact in the public sphere.
Current touchscreens emit light but are not able to sense it, which makes it impossible to identify fingerprints unless a supplemental sensor is added.
Researchers Christian Holz of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany told New Scientist that these touchscreens cannot scan fingerprints and fingerprint sensors are not able to show images.
Holz and fellow researcher Patrick Baudisch's prototype uses a glass screen, made up of millions of 3-millimetre-long optical fibres that have been bunched together vertically.
From an image projector that is mounted below the glass, each fibre is able to pipe out visible light rays.
Meanwhile, from a source adjacent to the projector, an infrared light bounces off the fingerprints and back down to an infrared camera.