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.
In this day and age, fingerprint scanners are quite common, especially among high end and midrange smartphone devices. But most of them are either placed on the back of a handset, or located on the home button (as seen on some of Apple’s iPhone models of recent years). Synaptics, however, is looking to put them under every display screen in the planet, that is if it has its way.
The company certainly has put itself in a good position to do exactly just that. Just this week, Synaptics has officially announced that it has commenced mass production of its new Clear ID FS9500 in-display fingerprint sensor, in collaboration with an unnamed top five original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
There are rumors circulating that Apple continues to experience problems with regards to embedding the Touch ID sensor underneath the OLED (organic light emitting diode) display screen of its upcoming iPhone 8 device. Earlier reports that surfaced some time ago had indicated that the tech giant had encountered these embedding issues when it first produced its highly awaited iPhone 8 flagship. Despite some subsequent reports suggesting that the company had resolved the issues, rumors continue to swirl around Apple’s apparent inability to fix the problem.
For some time now, speculation has been rife with regards to Apple experimenting with a form of under-display fingerprint reading technology, and understandably, some industry watchers were fully expecting the tech giant to debut this tech in an upcoming iPhone offering. But surprisingly, Vivo, a phone maker from China, has beaten Apple to the punch.
Earlier this week, Google had revealed that it was starting the roll out of Android 7.1.2, the newest version of Android Nougat, to devices such as the Google Pixel and the Nexus 5X (built by LG) by way of an over the air update. Based on the most recent developer preview, owners of the Nexus 5X will be delighted to know that the device will now receive a new feature that was once only available to the Pixel, but often requested to be included in the Nexus 5X. Specifically, this feature allows users to swipe down on the device’s fingerprint reader to display notification alerts.
Facial recognition and fingerprint scanning systems are excellent tools for making sure mobile devices are safe from intruders. But as good as they are, they are still bound to some limitations. Moreover, mobile users often struggle a bit when trying to switch effectively and easily between the two technologies. As for intruders, the most persistent of them can conquer facial recognition and fingerprint reading systems by letting users unlock their devices (either unwittingly or under duress) or sometimes coming up with false (but convincing) identities.
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.
Quite inevitably, passwords will be a thing of the past, replaced by biometric methods for identity verification. It is actually starting right now with most high profile smartphone releases featuring a fingerprint reader of some kind.
But according to an Engadget article, fingerprints are nearly not enough to ensure total protection. In this age wherein it is customary for people everywhere to save private or sensitive information in mobile devices or in cloud services, online security is more important than ever. This has prompted various service providers to continuously explore ways that are much safer than the standard two factor authentication process.
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.
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