Synaptics Unveils Under-the-Display Fingerprint Sensor Tech: Galaxy S9/S9+ To Be First Phones To Debut Feature

On: December 12, 2017

The most anticipated tech mystery of the year has to be what was going to happen with iPhone X’s Touch ID. While most people argued that it was going to be eliminated altogether for something else (FaceID), a large chunk of people anticipated an under-the-screen sensor. To the disappointment of the latter, the feature didn’t make it to the tenth anniversary iPhone. This, however, may not be the case for smartphones coming in 2018 as Synaptics has announced that it has developed the world’s first in-display fingerprint scanner dubbed as “Clear ID FS9500.”

To recall, Vivo had also showcased a phone which was expected to come with this feature, however, that didn’t make it to consumers either. The feature is finally about to hit mainstream next year, starting with the Galaxy S9 series. The new feature will complement this year’s smartphone trend: bezel-less displays. With real estate on the front of devices getting limited, smartphone manufacturers had to relocate the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone or invent a whole new way to login to the phone.

According to famous KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be the first Samsung device to sport an in-display fingerprint scanner. This, however, contradicts with the rather surprising statement from Synaptics. The company has claimed that the scanner is currently undergoing mass production and will be used on a handset manufactured by a “Top 5” smartphone maker. Keeping that in mind, the S9 is the most likely smartphone by Samsung to be in the production stage right now.

Another hint that the next smartphone is most likely to be one from Samsung is in the official statement from Synaptics.

“Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself. Synaptics’ Clear ID fingerprint sensors are faster, more convenient, and more secure than alternative biometrics, and this optical technology represents a major innovation shift and opportunity for the smartphone market.”-Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Synaptics

When read carefully, the terms OLED Infinity suggest that the next phone is most likely one from Samsung. With this move, Samsung will be looking to respond to Apple’s FaceID feature. FaceID although being very sophisticated and fancy, comes with its own set of limitations. The fingerprint sensor, on the other hand, is known to be more reliable. It is still unknown about drawbacks this new tech will pose but it’s still a step in the right direction. What are your thoughts?