This week, Synaptics, one of Samsung’s manufacturing partners, has officially introduced a new fingerprint sensor for smartphone devices. The Natural ID FS9100 sensor is an optical type of scanner that can be fitted under a handset’s glass display screen. Most of today’s fingerprint sensors are of the capacitive type, which meant that they require a dedicated space of their own on the phone’s screen real estate, e.g. the circular home button found on Apple’s iPhone devices.
To be perfectly clear, the first generation models unveiled by Synaptics still require some space that can not be part of the screen. However, when the company proceeds to phase two, they plan to embed the fingerprint sensor underneath the screen. Tech enthusiasts will not have to wait too long to get an idea of that -- Synaptics is looking to demo that technology at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event to be held in the city of Las Vegas in Nevada next month.
Now considering that Synaptics is one of Samsung’s suppliers, some are thinking that the new optical fingerprint sensor might be featured in the South Korean phone maker’s next flagship offering, the Galaxy S8, which is expected to debut in 2017. There have already been rumors floating around that the Galaxy S8 will get rid of the home button and instead make use of an optical sensor for reading the user’s fingerprints.
Interestingly, Synaptics has revealed that it will begin mass producing the Natural ID FS9100 sensor some time in the second quarter of next year. But there is speculation that Samsung will be announcing the Galaxy S8 in February of 2017, so how can the device take advantage of the new sensor. The good news is that Samsung has not officially confirmed anything yet. It is quite possible that the biggest seller of smartphone devices in the world might choose to postpone the Galaxy S8’s release to the second part of 2017, so that the flagship device can make use of Synaptics’ new sensor.
If the Galaxy S8 ever features the Natural ID FS9100 sensor, it would definitely be a win for the device. Synaptics’ new sensor is designed to counter unlocking by way of fake fingertips. The technology happens to have a liveness detection functionality that recognizes real fingers when it sees them. For good measure, the sensor also makes use of PurePrint, a feature that uses artificial intelligence in order to combat spoofing.
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