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18 December 2017, 12:20 | Deanna Wagner
Vivo is hugely popular in China and India. Romeo Ranoco Reuters
Synaptics has announced it's figured out how to embed a fingerprint reader in an OLED display and produce it at mass volume.
We don't know when Vivo will ship this Clear ID-enabled smartphone, but I doubt it will be long.
Despite missing out on the chance to be the first company to adopt this technology, Samsung is also expected to join the party with a device of its own that is based on the in-display fingerprint scanning technology.
While it's quite disappointing we won't be seeing Synaptics' new in-display fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S9, we're certainly curious to see how Vivo's phone will turn out.
Moorhead further stated that in-display fingerprint sensors on smartphones weren't available so far due to manufacturing issues. It's not clear why Vivo chose to use Synaptics's Clear ID, but it was said that Qualcomm's in-display fingerprint scanner was slow.
Samsung and Apple have both struggled to integrate fingerprint sensors into smartphone displays, creating workarounds like iris scanners and Face ID instead. The technology that Synaptics has come out with, aka Clear ID, is said to be fast and simple.
The technology, named Clear ID works like this: There will be an illuminated fingerprint image below the display on the screen and by touching this, the phone can be unlocked.
Synaptics' system is twice as fast as Apple's Face ID, and two to three times less expensive, according to Moorhead. Synaptics on its part touts the Clear ID FS9500 as a "smart" technology that can detect fingerprints in various lighting conditions, can recognize wet or cold fingers, and detect attempts to spoof fingerprints.
Although Vivo has not yet made anything official, a popular analyst, Patrick Moorhead got his hands on the device using the tech and confirmed its existence on Twitter.
With the inbuilt sensors the manufacturers in near future would be able to bring out more full-screen smartphones, complete with the ease of a front-facing fingerprint sensor. Apple, in particular, was highly rumoured to implement the technology for its anniversary special iPhone X but the company went ahead with FaceID, which uses 3D facial mapping for biometric authentication. It is Vivo which was hailed at 5th position by the IDC report.
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