The seemingly never-ending quest for in-screen fingerprint sensors finally seems headed for a culmination of sorts with the unveiling of the first such phone from Vivo featuring the said sensors.
The handset that the Chinese manufacturer has up for display at the CES lacked a name as such though that in no way dented the oomph factor the phone has in plenty to woo the early users. The entire front was a seamless piece of glass with no home button, something that we have seen adapted by almost all 2017 flagships.
However, that does not mean having to get used to placing the fingers at the precise position the fingerprint sensor is located at the rear to unlock the device. Instead, one just needs to place their fingers right on the front display itself, something that comes more naturally.
There would be a light-work gimmickry to let users know their fingerprint has been registered followed by a reaction, which can be either to allow the user in or otherwise depending on whether the user is authentic or not.
In fact, the in-screen fingerprint sensor tech developed by Synaptics allows phone manufacturers the liberty to place the sensor just about anywhere. The placement hardly matters as long as it is connected to the main circuit board though from the ergonomics point of view placing it along the lower end of the front display perhaps makes the most sense.
There are some limitations applicable though. For instance, Synaptics is claiming a reaction time of 0.7 sec for the sensor to work, which no doubt is fast but the capacitive sensors do the same even faster, or 0.2 secs to be precise.
Further, the Synaptics solution is essentially an optical sensor which is also another reason it would work only with OLED panels at the moment. The makers though have said the sensor’s impact on the battery would be the same as the best capacitive sensors currently available.
Synaptics is also claiming better levels of security with its latest in-screen fingerprint reader, with the AI chip capable of decoding no less than 300 different aspects of the fingerprint to ensure it is only the right users that is allowed to get in.
Synaptics optical fingerprint sensors enters series production
Vivo meanwhile has said the phone on display has been taken from the production run and is meant for a market release sometime soon. No launch schedules have been mentioned though. The same applies to pricing as well though the technology being new, it sure will come for a premium for another year or two before it starts making it to mid-range devices as well.