Apple is reportedly embedding its Touch ID sensor under the display of its upcoming iPhone. While the company is still working on its new handset and there has been no official statement regarding the placement of the sensor, a Chinese manufacturer Vivo just walked right in with its under-display fingerprint sensor, beating the smartphone giant in its quest. Earlier this month, a report suggested that Vivo may be the first one to bring this technology to retail, and today this report turned out to be true.
Qualcomm has just announced its new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor solution at MWC Shanghai. The major highlights of this exhibition were the integration of this new sensor under the OLED panel and the under-water working of the sensor.
Vivo displayed a prototype, a modified version of its Xplay6, packed with the new Qualcomm fingerprint scanner hidden underneath the 1.2-millimeter thick OLED panel. This scanner used Qualcomm's new ultrasonic technology which sends a pulse through the finger, some of which gets reflected while some gets absorbed. These vibrations are then detected by a sensor which builds up a fingerprint.
The prototype shown worked as expected but Engadget's reported Richard Lai, who tested this device at MWC, found this sensor to be a bit laggy and had a very small recognition area. According to Lai:
While the solution seemed to work as advertised, I found the fingerprint recognition speed to be noticeably slower -- about one second between first touch and entering home screen...
This sensor also works well with wet fingers. Vivo also showed another demo in which the same sensor fitted at the back of the device's metallic body was shown to be working when submerged in water.
Qualcomm's new ultrasonic solution will ship to OEMs in two waves. "Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors for Glass and Metal", will reportedly start shipping to OEMs this month and will only work with Snapdragon 660 and 630 processors. The iPhone-beating "Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors for Display", will start commercial sampling in the fourth quarter of the current year and will work with non-Snapdragon powered devices as well.
Although Vivo and Qualcomm have come up with the working prototype of the under-display sensor, this tech may need some refinements before its public release.
Source and Image: Engadget