At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Vivo was able to successfully demo a fully functioning prototype of its under-display fingerprint scanning technology. Although the Chinese tech giant’s prototype handset does not come with any official model or product name yet, it is nevertheless a real, physical prototype, as opposed to an idea or a virtual simulation.
So how did Vivo pull this off? For one, it took full advantage of fingerprint readers manufactured by Synaptics, a company that specializes in producing sensors for mobile devices (some may remember that almost exactly a month ago, Synaptics had announced that it has begun mass productions of its new Clear ID FS9500 in-screen fingerprint sensor, joining forces with a yet to be identified top five original equipment manufacturer). Synaptics’ fingerprint sensor is basically integrated beneath the Vivo prototype’s organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen. As soon as the user’s fingertip hits the screen, a sensor array activates the part of the screen that touches the fingertip, and then proceeds to send a scan of the fingerprint to an optical image sensor underneath the screen.
The whole scanning process itself makes full use of an artificial intelligence driven chip that is capable of identifying 300 different attributes of a person’s fingerprint. Suffice it to say that it is quite advanced, at least when compared with the usual fingerprint readers found on many of smartphone devices already out in the market. According to Synaptics, one of the great things about its in-screen fingerprint sensor tech is that it will not require too much of the handset’s battery.
Just like in any new form of technology, the cost of production is still a bit high. This is why industry watchers fully expect Synaptics’ under-display fingerprint reader to be featured in high end smartphone releases first. The good thing is that before long, as components become less expensive to build, the technology should eventually hit more and more handsets.
As for Vivo, it now enjoys the advantage of having gotten there first, so to speak. And even more impressively, it had already showcased a similar but less polished technology back in June of last year, at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai. Sure, the phone maker still has a long way to go before it can truly stand toe to toe with the Samsungs and Apples of the world. But if it continues to explore new technology, mobile users everywhere will definitely start to notice.
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