Vivo to Be First Smartphone Maker With Synaptics' In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

Vivo to Be First Smartphone Maker With Synaptics' In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

It still isn't clear which Vivo device will feature the in-display sensor technology, or when it will launch, but the news offers a surprising conclusion to a year of behind-the-scenes activity as various biometrics specialists and smartphone makers have intensively pursued in-display fingerprint sensor technology. Now it looks like Chinese smartphone maker Vivo will be the first manufacturer that will be able to use the technology for its smartphones.

The news comes just a few days after Synaptics" announcement that it had in-display fingerprint sensors in mass production, and that it would soon be deployed in a "Tier 1' smartphone, with demos planned for the Consumer Electronics Show. Synaptics had already confirmed that it's working on a sensor known as Clear ID FS9500 and according to Forbes, the sensor is "fast and simple". In order for it to work, the finger has to be illuminated, so that the fingerprint scanner can read the reflections of the finger scan.

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Embedding fingerprint sensors in displays has proven tricky and was why the Apple iPhone X lacked Touch ID in its OLED display. This is clearly setting a path for more smartphones to come with an "all-screen" design that integrates the fingerprint scanner with the display. It's not clear why Vivo made a decision to use Synaptics's Clear ID, but it was said that Qualcomm's in-display fingerprint scanner was slow.

Synaptics said Clear ID is twice as fast as 3D facial recognition systems such as Apple's Face ID. It is Vivo which was hailed at 5th position by the IDC report. The overall experience isn't that much different than current front-facing fingerprint scanners, but it eliminates the need to put them on the back as modern screens are all but taking up the front.

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The company announced that it is going into full production with what it described as "top five original equipment manufacturers (OEM)". After all, the Samsung Galaxy S8 was supposed to get Synaptics' FS9100 optical fingerprint sensor, but that didn't happen in the end.

The Clear ID SF9500 sensor itself measures just 0.69mm in thickness and does not make smartphones significantly thicker.

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As noted earlier, Samsung is also expected to use this technology on its upcoming smartphones.

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