A flagship phone with an under-display fingerprint sensor might be unveiled soon, and by "soon," we mean in January at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018.
That's all according to the latest announcement from Synaptics.
Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor About To Happen
Both Apple and Samsung have been working on installing a fingerprint reader below their phones' screens, and it was supposed to be the highlight feature for their flagship devices. However, things didn't work out for them, as evidenced by the functionality's absence from the iPhone 8, iPhone X, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8.
Now Synaptics announced that the technology called Clear ID FS9500 will be showcased on a "tier 1" customer phone at CES 2018 as it pushes to mass-produce it with a "top five" OEM.
Who's The OEM?
The California-based company didn't say whom it's teaming up with, meaning it's unclear on what brand the device sporting the under-display fingerprint sensor will be.
Looking more closely at the press release, there's a possibility that the OEM in question is none other than Samsung.
"Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself," Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Division at Synaptics, said.
The bit about the "bezel-free OLED infinity displays" could be a giveaway the secret, so to speak. It even continues to say that it's "designed for smartphones with infinity displays" and that Clear ID can scan "through full cover glass and enable sleek, button-free, bezel-free infinity displays."
In short, the key phrase here is "infinity display," a screen technology that Samsung uses on its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 and will likely continue to use on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9.
Speaking of which, a report back in November claims that only the Galaxy Note 9 will have an in-screen fingerprint scanner. This is backed up by alleged leaks that show the Galaxy S9's fingerprint reader at its back.
In short, there's a small possibility that Synaptics will demo Clear ID on a Galaxy Note 9 at CES 2018, but that's a big emphasis on "small." Another report says that the unveiling of the Galaxy S9 at the event is "unlikely," meaning it's even unlikelier for the Galaxy Note 9 to show up there. Still, a dummy unit of sorts could be in the cards, but that might be stretching it a bit too much.
Needless to say, this is all mere speculation at this point, but what's sure is that an in-screen fingerprint reader will be unveiled in January.
On an interesting note, Vivo showed off its under-display fingerprint-scanning solution back in June, but it was noticeably slow and difficult to use on a daily basis. That won't be the case with the Clear ID FS9500, though, as Synaptics boasts that it's "twice as fast as 3D facial recognition." Clearly a shot at the iPhone X's Face ID.