LG Innotek is a subsidiary of LG that is charged with developing and manufacturing components for the South Korean tech giant’s wide range of electronic devices. Just this week, LG Innotek has unveiled a new fingerprint scanning technology, specifically a reader component that can be integrated into the bezel section of a handset’s display screen. The result is that you basically get a smartphone fingerprint sensor that does away with a button altogether.
Most high profile smartphone releases during the last few months have all come with fingerprint scanners. However, because of the design limitations inherent in the sensor component, most handsets today all sport basically one similar design, with the fingerprint sensor integrated into the home button situated on the front side of the phone. There are a few exceptions to this, of course -- LG’s latest flagship device, the G5, as well as last year’s Nexus devices (LG’s Nexus 5X and Huawei’s Nexus 6P) and Nextbit’s Robin smartphone do not adopt this particular design. But for most smartphones out there, they are essentially doing the same thing when it comes to their fingerprint readers.
So how exactly does LG’s new fingerprint sensor design differ from the usual? Well, for starters, the South Korean mobile giant decided to create a small groove on the underside of the display screen, just enough to put the fingerprint scanner there. By adopting this approach, LG has essentially protected the fingerprint sensor from outside elements, and at the same time, made the reader invisible to the naked eye. So how can users tell where the scanner is? LG recommends a simple solution -- just put an indicator on the bezel so that people will know where to put their finger when using the sensor.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that an attempt was made to put the fingerprint sensor underneath a smartphone’s display screen. As a matter of fact last year, both Qualcomm and Synaptics managed to do the feat. But this is the first time though that a powerhouse name is directly involved in championing the technology. As a global smartphone giant, LG has a bigger chance of successfully bringing its buttonless fingerprint sensor technology to the masses, not only for its own smartphone devices, but to other phone makers as well. As confirmed by LG Innotek, it is already in talks with other manufacturers regarding the mass production of the new fingerprint sensor components before the end of this year.
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