Synaptics: In-display fingerprint sensor to launch in 2018 'tier one' flagship

The in-display fingerprint sensor is a much-rumoured technology that even the big companies are having time to make it possible.

We don't know when Vivo will ship this Clear ID-enabled smartphone, but I doubt it will be long. This will allow manufacturers to maintain the design of their phones, while also keeping the fingerprint reader in a familiar area. To unlock the phone, users will have to touch the display to activate fingerprint sensor and unlock the phone.

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.

In terms of the security, Moorhead has also clarified that Synaptics has built-in a separate encryption module to the Clear ID sensor while also allowing the hardware to interact with the phone's processor for authenticating the fingerprint.

Embedding fingerprint sensors in displays has proven tricky and was why the Apple iPhone X lacked Touch ID in its OLED display.

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Now Chinese smartphone maker Vivo will be the first to show off an in-screen fingerprint display in its next phone, according to an analyst who's seen a pre-production device.

Apple reportedly had ditch the TouchID entirely as it could not integrate fingerprint sensor in the display and came with facial recognition that it called FaceID.

And it sounds like the scanner might work well.

With smartphones now opting for in-display sensors, it would let manufacturers bring more full-screen smartphones. It is unclear whether Vivo would now continue to work with Qualcomm since Synaptics Clear ID is way simpler and faster. Somewhere in June, a report emerged claiming that Vivo, a company owned by BBK Electronics and has so far confirmed its plans to enter the Kenyan market in early 2018, would be the first to use this technology.

Overall, it looks like the Synaptics Clear ID technology is very reliable based on Moorhead's experience. Vivo fell one position in Q2 but, thanks to its success in India, is expected to quickly regain a top five position.

  • Delia Davidson