Ever since the iPhone 5s, fingerprint scanning for phones either as a means of unlocking the device or to pay for goods.

People complained that early iterations were unreliable, but the technology has come on in leaps and bounds and next year, according to giant tech manufacturer Qualcomm, devices will be ready to have fingerprint scanners under the display.

Magazine TechRadar interviewed Raj Talluri, SVP and GM of Qualcomm’s IoT business at IFA 2017, where he confirmed that the ultrasonic Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology, which works under metal and glass, will be available for inclusion in smartphone displays from 2018, three years after the tech was first announced back in 2015.

Talluri said it hadn’t exactly been a straightforward process.

“It’s taken me and the team a bit of time to really get it… but next year I’m pretty optimistic we’ll see it in more mainstream devices.”

One of the major issues in moving from concept to production was the rapid pace of development of the technology they were looking to seat their scanner in.

“Just when you think you’ve got it figured under plastic, phones became glass, just when you got it figured under glass the focus became the display,” Talluri explained. Now Qualcomm is at a stage where it’s got it all working.

“We’re confident we have a solution that works under metal, under glass and under display. And it’s also waterproof, it can work underwater, so next year I’m hoping we’ll get that to production.”

That means phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, LG G7 and HTC U12 could all feature under screen fingerprint scanner. Ironically it appears that Apple has now eschewed fingerprint scanning in favour of other biometrics such as 3D facial recognition for their new fleet of iPhones.

Either way – it looks as though biometric access is going to be the way forward for mobile device security.