Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has apparently become the first company to perfect a Fingerprint sensor under the display of a smartphone. The company is about to introduce the technology, jointly, with Qualcomm, at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai.
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Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, however, is widely rumored to have none of that. Instead, the fingerprint scanner is said to be embedded directly into the screen.
Samsung has reportedly tried to use a similar Fingerprint Sensor in its Galaxy S8 flagship, but could just not make it work reliably in time for its spring release.
The Chinese company’s solution, called Vivo Under Display, is a fingerprint sensor that can be placed under glass, an OLED screen, or even aluminum(!), making it completely invisible and unobtrusive.
Vivo’s sensor is an ultrasonic one, which is not new; in fact, Qualcomm already has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s built into some phones, like the Xiaomi Mi 5s. It works by emitting ultrasonic sound waves which penetrate the skin of your finger and capture a precise, 3D image of your fingerprint.
Video shows a prototype of bezel-less smartphone with dual camera sensor and icon are iOS like.
However, Vivo’s sensor can penetrate glass, aluminum, and OLED deeper – the company claims – than any similar technology out there. More precisely, Vivo Under Display can penetrate 1.3mm of OLED, 525μm of aluminum or 800μm of glass. For comparison, Qualcomm’s previous technology could only penetrate 400μm of glass, and capacitive scanners only go up to 300μm.
As for Samsung, there are conflicting reports on whether the company will have this feature in its upcoming Galaxy Note 8. From what we’ve heard from Vivo, it appears Samsung won’t use Vivo’s technology either (reports say Samsung is working with Synaptics on an under-the-display fingerprint scanner).
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