Earlier in the year, Qualcomm revealed to Digital Trends that it expected in-screen fingerprint sensors to launch in consumer products beginning in summer 2018. Now it looks like Chinese smartphone maker Vivo will be the first manufacturer that will be able to use the technology for its smartphones. A lot of people speculated that Samsung is going to be that brand because it faced a lot of heat past year for the awkward placement of fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Forbes has a write-up of what it's like to use an in-display fingerprint reader on a pre-production Vivo-branded smartphone, saying that it's simple to use and fast in its response time.
Another important thing to note is that while Vivo has confirmed that it will be coming to Kenya, it's unlikely that it'll be accompanied by the world's first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner. The lack of a front fingerprint sensor is due to the full-screen design the device packs.
Apple recently abandoned its fingerprint scanner in favour of Face ID, partly because the new iPhone X has no space for a home button. "Synaptics announced it has figured out how to manufacture, in high volume, an integrated fingerprint sensor in the smartphone display that operates in a fast, secure, manner", a report in Forbes said late on Thursday.
The technology, named Clear ID works like this: There will be an illuminated fingerprint image below the display on the screen and by touching this, the phone can be unlocked. But Synaptics highlights that as many as 70 million units of in-display sensors will be out on the market in 2018, as the analyst mentioned.
While this is slightly different from how we unlock our phones now, Moorhead expects Vivo to improve the experience by only requiring users to lift to wake the device, so at that point, they can just place their finger on the glass to unlock it, without the need to press any other buttons. According to the company statement, the sensors are twice as fast as 3D facial recognition and require only one touch to access the smartphone.
Vivo will be the first smartphone manufacturer to drop a physical fingerprint scanner, normally used to unlock your phone, in favour of one embedded inside the screen.