One of the big selling features of phones like the iPhone 5s and the HTC One max is their ability to verify the identification of the user by scanning their fingerprint. While those phones use a built-in scanner to do the job, Diamond Fortress Technologies' new ICE Unlock app lets Android mobile devices do the same thing, but using their camera.

Users initially start out by enrolling the print of their own index finger as the one that will unlock the phone. From there, every time they want to use the phone, they hold their index and middle fingers 4 to 6 inches (7 to 13 cm) in front of the rear camera, then line things up so that the pad of their index finger fills an oval indicator on the app screen. Once the camera has focused and taken a still, and the app has compared the image to the template it has on file, the phone should unlock.

It reportedly doesn't matter if the finger skin is dirty or scratched, although should the app not unlock the phone, users can still access it via a PIN.

One of the claimed advantages that ICE Unlock has over a scanner is the fact that while scanners can get covered with skin oil and become unreliable, the app doesn't require any touching of the lens. Additionally, users don't have to wonder if they're applying the right amount of pressure, as they would with a scanner.

ICE Unlock is available now for free via Google Play, and is reportedly compatible with a wide range of Android devices.

Source: Diamond Fortress Technologies