Chinese handset company Vivo could launch the world’s first smartphone with a fingerprint sensor embedded into the display as early as next year. The company has tied up with Synaptics, the company responsible for providing touch input on millions of devices across the world.
“Synaptics made an announcement with Vivo that improves further on the smartphone UI experience. Synaptics announced it has figured out how to manufacture, in high volume, an integrated fingerprint sensor in the smartphone display that operates in a fast, secure, manner,” a report in Forbes said late on Thursday.
The latest report comes months after Vivo actually showcased a concept device with an in-screen fingerprint scanner at MWC Shanghai last year. The concept device used an ultrasonic sensor underneath a surface. In comparison with Qualcomm’s fingerprint display technology, Vivo’s had superior sensing capabilities.
It is also worth noting that both Apple and Samsung were rumored at one point to incorporate in-screen fingerprint sensors in their flagship smartphones. Apple, in particular, was highly rumored to implement the technology for its anniversary special iPhone X but the company went ahead with FaceID, which uses 3D facial mapping for biometric authentication.
In-screen fingerprint sensors have been considered as a natural evolution of modern biometric sensors as the smartphone displays this year moved to an edge-to-edge concept.
That said, Vivo’s new sensors are likely to be operated by one-touch, high-resolution optical scanning through a full glass and through the device’s display.
Earlier this week, Synaptics — the company responsible for handling the touch input on millions of laptop trackpads and smartphone screens — announced that it has started mass production with its first optical in-display fingerprint sensors.
The company announced that it is going into full production with what it described as “top five original equipment manufacturers (OEM)”. Notably, Vivo is one of the top five smartphone vendors globally, according to the IDC Q1 2017 Tracker.
Named “Clear ID”, these are expected to work exactly like the home button fingerprint sensors.
Synaptics “Clear ID” FS9500 family of fingerprint sensors are reportedly designed for smartphones with the immensely-popular “infinity” OLED displays which are found in flagship smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy 8, Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone X.