Didn’t think someone would be bold enough to try but apparently, you can unlock your smartphone using a severed finger. This person was bold enough to try it out after he lost the finger in an industrial accident. It proved that the scenes we see in movies of severed hands being used to bypass fingerprint scanners actually have some truth to them. Though who would be bold enough to try it now in real life.
The man who unlocked his smartphone using his severed finger is Kieran Higgins, a retiree living in rural Spain. Higgins had lost his finger in an industrial accident involving a crane. However, he chose to keep the remains of his finger in a vat of alcohol just as a precaution in case his insurance company tried to pull a fast one on him or give him any trouble. And since he had the finger lying around, he thought might as well experiment with it.
Higgins was successfully able to unlock his Samsung Galaxy A20 smartphone with his severed finger alone. What’s interesting is that he first had to register the severed finger on the phone as well. Talk about cool and fun organized indoor projects. Higgins told reporters that “I devised a cunning plan to register the fingerprint on my brand new shiny whatsit. I extracted [the fingertip] from its grave of medicinal alcohol, dried it off, and… eureka! … managed to register my dead finger on my phone”.
Higgins also explained why he had kept the finger in the first place, “So keeping evidence and stuff is always a good idea. You never know when it’s gonna turn nasty. So I kept it in case anybody asked me first… because insurance companies never like to payout”. As he has spent most of his career dealing with insurance companies and PCI-DSS compliance, it looks like he knew how he could’ve been taken advantage of if he didn’t have evidence.
Another fun tidbit is that technically the finger shouldn’t have worked as many fingerprint scanners require the finger to be able to conduct electricity and this becomes harder the longer the finger or person has been dead. So the fact that the finger was able to unlock the phone might just be because it had been preserved properly or it hadn’t been dead long enough.
While the Galaxy A20 is a budget device it still comes with a pretty good capacitive fingerprint scanner.
So the bottom line is that, if you find yourself with your dominant finger cut off, it’s better to keep the thing because you could either have it reattached and use it to look cool while unlocking your phone.