Vivo will have the first smartphone with in-display fingerprint reader


It still isn't clear which Vivo device will feature the in-display sensor technology, or when it will launch, but the news offers a surprising conclusion to a year of behind-the-scenes activity as various biometrics specialists and smartphone makers have intensively pursued in-display fingerprint sensor technology.

While Vivo might not be the first name people think of when it comes to top 5 phone manufacturers, IDC reports that it was behind only Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and OPPO in Q1 2017.

Just a couple of days ago, we told our readers that Synaptics, a fingerprint sensor manufacturer, has announced the mass production of its optical in-display fingerprint sensors. Forbes has a write-up of what it's like to use an in-display fingerprint reader on a pre-production Vivo-branded smartphone, saying that it's simple to use and fast in its response time. Synaptics claims that their fingerprint scanner is twice as fast as the iPhone Face ID recognition system. In order to initialize it, Moorhead needed to press the right side button to wake the handset, bringing up a fingerprint illumination at the bottom of the screen.

Tech analyst Patrick Moorhead has been trialing the new device and said it works faster than he expected.

Overall, it looks like the Synaptics Clear ID technology is very reliable based on Moorhead's experience.

The company announced that it is going into full production with what it described as "top five original equipment manufacturers (OEM)". What makes Synaptics' newest sensor different from previous offerings is its ability to be embedded under a display. This is clearly setting a path for more smartphones to come with an "all-screen" design that integrates the fingerprint scanner with the display. Instead, we could see the in-display fingerprint scanner hit a Sammy device in H2 2018, probably the Galaxy Note 9.

REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschA person uses a sensor for biometric identification on a smartphone in Berlin, Germany October 16, 2015.

Samsung has been hard at work to implement an in-screen fingerprint sensor on its high-end flagship phones. The fact that the sensors are now being mass-produced is a clear indication that it will be showing up on a smartphone by next year.