Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Vivo introduces world's first in-display fingerprint sensor smartphone

Vivo introduces world's first in-display fingerprint sensor smartphone

Like many other smartphones, the fingerprint scanner is always waiting to detect a fingerprint when screen is off.

Qualcomm says its technology will be the first of such that's commercially available, capable of scanning through either OLED displays or aluminum, and that the company is planning to make its Fingerprint Sensors available to OEMs as early as this month - which means we should expect to see the technology debut in high-end smartphones as early as the first-half of 2018.

For several years now, cell phone users have had to live with the fear of a potential thief acquiring possession of their device. The prompt can appear even when the screen is off, and will disappear when it is no longer needed.

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From edge-to-edge display to narrowing bezels, there's just no room left to put a fingerprint sensor on the front panel of a smartphone anymore. It has its limitations, where it only work with the phones that use OLED displays as the sensor looks through the spaces between subpixels from under the panel.

Instead, it's Chinese firm Vivo which has beaten the likes of Apple and Samsung to the punch, and we got hands-on with its yet-to-be-named smartphone at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The only way to unlock the phone is to make the screen active and then click the home button icon for the sensor to activate and detect your fingerprint. The prototype of the Vivo's under-display fingerprint technology includes Synaptics in-display fingerprint reader.

The Chinese firm had announced past year that they had developed the "in-display fingerprint scanning" technology for a prototype phone in China.

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Speaking at the event, Alex Feng, Senior Vice President of Vivo said, "Today's showcase of a ready-to-produce in-display fingerprint scanning smartphone featuring an optical fingerprint sensor is a big leap forward in bringing consumers this long-awaited, futuristic mobile experience". Once the fingerprint is registered, unlocking the phone works just fine, like any other physical fingerprint sensors.

For all the phone enthusiasts out there, the best and the most exciting news is that this technology exists, and it works. Device manufacturers were left with very little options, one of them being moving the fingerprint sensor towards the back of the phone - a move which received mostly negative reviews.

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