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Synaptics finally crack under-screen fingerprint sensors for 2018 flagship smartphones

Under-screen fingerprint scanners were pegged for 2017’s slew of flagship smartphones, but ultimately the tech just wasn’t ready. While the same was thought of 2018’s upcoming batch due to Samsung Galaxy S9 rumours, it seems that Synaptics has finally cracked the technology.

“Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself,” writes Kevin Barber, Synaptics's mobile division senior vice president and general manager.

Clear ID FS9500 is the name for Synaptics’ new piece of biometric tech, which it assures us is the “world’s first in-display fingerprint sensor for smartphones.” This might surprise a few of our readers as Qualcomm showcased its own version of the tech in collaboration with Chinese manufacturer Vivo back in June, although this was noticeably slower than current fingerprint sensors on the market.

Of course, it’s likely that Synaptics means its Clear ID tech will be the first introduced into commercial smartphones, particularly on a mass produced level as the company has already geared up for a “Tier 1 OEM.” Moreover, it’s already getting people excited by stating it will appear in the next handset from a “Top 5” smartphone company.

When paired with other terminology used in its press release, the “bezel-free infinity display” and “OLED infinity display” aspects prompt thoughts of Samsung’s Galaxy S9 handset expected early next year. This is contrary to the leak that suggests that it will retain its physical rear fingerprint sensor, but could potentially appear on the Note variant instead or even the higher-end third Galaxy S9 Plus.

It is possible that it will appear on an entirely different handset from a different manufacturer, as these features are quickly becoming a mainstay for mid-to-high-end technology.

KitGuru Says: While I actually prefer the sensor on the back of the phone, I understand that I am a part of the minority there. I can’t help but feel this function will become extremely fragile under glass, especially with the amount of people I’ve known to crack their screens. Does the idea of under-screen fingerprint sensors appeal to you?

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