The company now has big automotive aspirations, but more importantly, it managed to be the first company to show us actually working under-display fingerprint sensor.
"Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself", Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Synaptics said.
However, maybe you prefer fingerprint sensor over even a state-of-the-art face unlocking like Face ID, and you definitely want it in the front because you need to unlock the phone a billion times a day while it's laying on the desk, and you still want a huge display that takes up almost all the room from the front face of the phone.
The market research firm says in addition to Korean brands Samsung and LG, which make their own AMOLED panels, Chinese smartphone brands such as OPPO, Vivo, Meizu, Gionee, Xiaomi and Huawei will have a chance to embed an in-display fingerprint sensor for AMOLED panels in their new models to release in 2018.
The new version of the in-display fingerprint scanning technology developed by Vivo, along with Qualcomm is an optic-based technology which was developed with Synaptics.
It's really nerdy stuff - all you really need to know is that phones with fingerprint sensors on the front are back again. (I also had success with a colleague's finger.) There's always a bit of the screen on, so you can find the right spot. However, the sensor wasn't as responsive as Vivo would have liked. According to The Verge, this new sensor works similar to normal fingerprint reader but it is not very fast. Once an image of the finger press is obtained, it is then transferred to the built-in AI chip to match the same against the registered image of the authentic user.
The overall process takes just 0.7 seconds, not quite as fast as the 0.2 seconds that are commonly advertized for traditional fingerprint scanners these days, but still faster than the average of 1.4 seconds it takes to use face recognition.
For all the phone enthusiasts out there, the best and the most exciting news is that this technology exists, and it works.
Fingerprint sensors will still be the first choice for most Android phones in 2018, since other biometric authentication methods available for Android phone-makers can not completely replace fingerprint identification yet. That way, you'll be able to place your fingers anywhere to unlock the phone. If you're just slightly off, it usually fails to recognize it. The prototype shown then relied of ultrasonic signals to transmit the fingerprint from over the glass to the sensor underneath. Like right now, when it's freezing in NY and I usually have a scarf covering half my face, and Face ID won't work.