Samsung’s effort to develop an under-screen fingerprint sensor is an open secret. As early as Spring 2017, shortly before the release of the Galaxy S8, the Seoul, South Korea-based was developing a fingerprint sensor that could be embedded in a smartphone screen. It reportedly tried to build one for the Galaxy Note 8 but, but couldn’t overcome key technical limitations. But if a new patent is any indication, Samsung hasn’t given up on the idea.
On Tuesday, the company was granted a patent for an under-screen fingerprint scanner by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It describes a 12 pressure point-sensor sandwiched between cover glass and a display panel, and accompanying software that unlocks applications depending on who’s using the smartphone.
Historically, Android smartphone manufacturers have placed fingerprint sensors either below phone displays (see: Lenovo’s Moto G5 Plus) or on the rear cover (Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus). In July, though, Vivo partnered with Qualcomm to prototype under-display technology that the company had been working on for the better part of a year. The new scanner passes ultrasonic signals through an OLED panel up to 1200 μm thick to read the contours of a fingerprint, obviating the need for direct skin contact.
As impressive as Qualcomm’s solution is, though, it isn’t as fast as traditional capacitive fingerprint scanners, and it requires an OLED panel in order to work properly. If Samsung’s sensor solves those problems, it might just give it a leg up on the competition.
Via: GSM Arena Source: World Intellectual Property Organization