Fingerprint scanners that were once feature on the top phones to being a standard feature on nearly every phone in the budget categories have become an everyday feature. Some are great, others are not, and some can have a large number of fingerprints, while others allow only a only a few. Some of them have fingerprints on their front, while others place it on the rear of the device. And others like Sony feature it in the button for power which is located on the side that the handset.
With the increasing demand for making phones thinner and displays becoming bezel-less and the list goes on. It’s an issue for people who want to keep the fingerprint scanner that’s on its front. LG For instance, they was forced to shift their volume rockers away from the back and to its sides, thereby getting rid of the unique brand they had to accommodate fingerprint scanners.
In the midst of Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, Qualcomm seems to have come up with a new idea that is sure to delight many OEMs. You may have seen about it in leaks about the iPhone and others, but now, we have a fingerprint scanner is going to the “ultrasonic” mode into new levels. Ultrasonic technology includes sensors for Display Glass, Display, and Metal and an underwater fingerprint matching, which includes the capability to detect heartbeats as well as blood flow.
The primary goal of Qualcomm is to introduce the ability of fingerprint scanners to be integrated into the display, thus saving lots of space for OEMs to further innovate on how the phones look itself without worrying about space. We’ve seen how awkward it could be from the images has been seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S8. Qualcomm’s Fingerprint Sensor designed for display of smartphones is the first ultrasonic technology that has been commercially released capable of scanning OLED displays with up to 1200um in thickness. There are different kinds of sensors that operate in the same model for different kinds of materials, like the one that has 800um of cover glass, and the one with 650um of aluminum.
The sensor support is not limited to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Mobile Platforms, but also for other Qualcomm ones however, with specific conditions. Although the newly launched Snapdragon the 660 and 630 have Qualcomm Fingerprint sensors for glass and Metal, the ones that are designed for glass, display and metal are available for coming versions of Snapdragon and other non-Snapdragon products.
Additionally, read: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 14nm Mobile Platform announced
Smartphone makers will be able to avail the new sensor to Glass and Metal by end of the month for phones they plan to launch in the next six months or longer. For the Fingerprint sensor that will be used for display, availability is expected to be in Q4 of 2017. As for the first adopters, Chinese OEM Vivo seems to be the first one to adopt this feature with their forthcoming XPlay 6 phone that was also demonstrated.
These changes are very encouraging because the processors being supported are mid-range models and we can expect to be seeing more exciting options in this space, and not only for flagships. This also means that the trend that is currently being observed with mid-ranger models becoming less expensive, their prices could rise a little due to the amount of effort to be put into their implementation however, with the lines between mid-ranger and flagships are blurring or becoming thin, will not stop. In any case, the consumer will benefit from these exciting features. Although it’s not surprising to find Vivo among all OEMs adopt this initially, we’ll have to wait and see what the similar brands of Samsung, LG, and other Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others use these new technologies that are set to become distinctive selling points. Are they going to strike the metal with a hot iron? Only time will determine.