Vivo, a little-known Chinese phone maker, will apparently be one of the first to launch a smartphone with an in-screen fingerprint sensor.
When smartphone manufacturers moved to infinity-style displays in 2017, virtually removing all bezels around the screen, many expected some to adopt in-display fingerprint scanners. Both Samsung and Apple were heavily rumoured to adopt the technology on the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X, but they ran into engineering issues. Then, earlier this week, Synaptics announced it had found a way to embed sensors into displays.
And all it will take to unlock a device is one quick touch of the sensor, from almost any angle. Now, we know the name of the first phone manufacturer that plans to include the tech in a smartphone: Vivo. Forbes spent time with a pre-production Vivo phone outfitted with the sensor and described it as “fast and simple". Synaptics even said its in-screen fingerprint sensor can be used if you have wet fingers.
- Qualcomm set to take over fingerprint sensors with under display scanners
- In-display fingerprint sensors may be a thing in 2018 thanks to Synaptics
The company has actually begun production of the sensor, dubbed the "Clear ID in-display fingerprint scanner". It is designed for all phones with an infinity display and is faster than other biometric security features, including Apple's Face ID. In fact, Synaptics claimed it's twice as fast as 3D facial recognition. It's also fully scratch- and waterproof - since it will be protected by the smartphone's glass display.
Now, earlier this year, Vivo showed off a Qualcomm-powered, fingerprint-sensing display on a prototype phone. It's not quite clear why Vivo ditched Qualcomm's early effort to go with Synaptics instead. We also don't yet know a price or a release date for the company's phone. Hopefully we'll learn more at CES 2018 next month, when many companies are planning to show off their latest goods in Vegas.