Most smartphones have the fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone or the home button. No matter what position the sensor is placed, one thing remains constant, it is not a place with the phone display.
Apparently, making the glassy display double up as a fingerprint sensor is a difficult thing to achieve. Well for weeks now, rumors have been running around that not only had Synaptics figured how to put a sensor or the screen, but it will soon start mass-producing the technology for one of the “top-five” OEMs.
Well, it turns out, that one of ‘top-five’ OEM is Vivo. As posted by Forbes, analysts Patrick Moorhead gives his account of using the pre-production Vivo phone equipped with the Synaptics in-screen fingerprint sensor.
Moorhead says the sensor is “fast and simple.” Synaptics goes further to say the in-screen fingerprint sensor is twice as fast as the 3D facial recognition technology used in the latest Apple’s Face ID. Then again, just how do you go about comparing the speeds of the two technologies given the fact they are so far from each other in design and how they function?
If Synaptics do produce the world first in-screen fingerprint sensor that works smoothly. That will be a major blow to Qualcomm who have been working on the same technology for a while now. Stakeholders could also judge the move by Vivo to approach Synaptics instead of Qualcomm as a vote of confidence to the former. That will be detrimental from the business angle that Qualcomm has been positioning itself as the market leader in matters mobile device chipsets and hardware.
Earlier this year, Vivo showcased another prototype smartphone with in-screen fingerprint sensor made by Qualcomm. However, the prototype never reached the production line given it was noticeably slow.
Should the technology pick up, we might see Apple revert to the old ways of fingerprint sensors. You might have noticed Apple did away entirely with fingerprint sensors on its iPhone X and instead chose to install just the Face ID.