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(Pocket-lint) - Qualcomm has demoed a new biometric fingerprint scanner at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that uses ultrasonic sound waves to capture even more of the minute details of your digits.

The technology, called Sense ID, aims to solve the problem of scanning fingers when they are moist or sweaty.

Using a similar technology to that already used by hospitals around the world to scan babies in the womb, Qualcomm hopes that the new technology will open up new possibilities when it comes to validating who you are.

Qualcomm says that unlike Apple's Touch ID technology the sensor, which can be hidden under glass, sapphire, plastic, and certain metals, is able to cope even if you've moisturised your hands. In fact trying the technology first hand at the event, the wetter, more moist, your fingers are the more data the scanner is able to capture.

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Pocket-lintqualcomm sense id is a 3d biometric scanner that will solve those sweaty apple touchid moments hands on  image 6

The system works by sending the ultrasonic sound waves into your finger and then measuring not only your print, but the depth of the ridges within the print.

Qualcomm says that at the moment the technology is aimed towards phone users, however could easily see the technology moving to other areas such as cars, wearables, or even your front door.

Apple's TouchID service, the only real-world alternative at the moment to the technology, is already being embraced by apps from Dropbox for letting you quickly access secure files to Natwest in the UK to let you log into your banking app.

It's not yet confirmed whether Qualcomm will look to licence the technology to enhance Apple's TouchID technology or offer it to its regular partners like Samsung, LG, and HTC to allow them to offer a competing, better scanner, in the future.

The scanner is expected to make it into devices for the second half of 2015.

Writing by Stuart Miles.