Rumor has it that the reason Apple dropped the fingerprint sensor from the iPhone X is that the company didn’t want to put it on the back of the phone, and that the technology required for under-glass fingerprint sensors wasn’t good enough yet. So Apple ditched fingerprints altogether, and went solely with its Face ID technology for biometric security, which had been in development for several years.

But that doesn’t mean fingerprint readers are dead. They’re still faster and they can be more convenient in many situations than facial recognition. And just because we’re seeing more and more “full screen” phones with slim bezels doesn’t mean fingerprint sensors need to be on the back or sides of a phone.

Synaptics says it’s begun “mass production with a top five OEM”  and plans to show off a “soon to be announced Tier 1 customer phone” using the company’s in-display fingerprint sensor at CES in January.

The press release is a bit vague, since it doesn’t say which OEM, but even if the company is working with one of the biggest players in the smartphone space, that doesn’t necessarily meant they’ll use it in a flagship product like the Samsung Galaxy S9. Maybe one of those companies wants to try out the technology on a mid-range phone first to see how well it’s received.

Anyway, Synaptics calls its technology Clear ID, and says it the sensor will “magically activate in the display only when needed,” so you don’t have to worry about accidentally scanning a fingerprint when you’re just using your phone or about the sensor ruining your battery life by constantly working even when you’re not trying to login to anything.

The solution also works with “wet, dry and cold fingers,” and the company says it’s twice as fast as 3D facial recognition, although that will likely vary depending on the face scanning technology that’s being used.

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8 replies on “Synaptics says in-display fingerprint sensors for smartphones are coming soon”

  1. There have been multiple hints that the next Apple flagship will have fingerprint once again.

    1. I doubt it.
      Apple screwed the pooch with FaceID. I figure they’ll stick to it in 2018.
      Then make a “revolutionary new feature” which is fingerprint scanner in-display.
      Releasing it too early would feel like an insult to their consumers, especially those that spent >$1,800 in 2017-2018 mere months prior. It will give their skeptics more credibility, and make Apple look like lying salesman to the masses.

      We’re in the tick cycle with the iPhone X.
      The tock will bring a couple new enhancements/refinements.
      They’ll probably bill this as ScanID, say its a big feature, and introduce it in the next tick cycle (2019).

  2. LOL you get lost in overthinking it while being less than informed.

    Synaptics made it very clear months ago that this is a China phone maker with retail in Q1 and that they have lost the S9 Then, the next device to hit retail will take a few more months at least.

    And BTW, LG is not top 5 while HTC is barely alive.

    1. The point I was making is that the press release is so vague that it doesn’t even tell us if it’s a top phone maker or a top equipment manufacturer… but you’re right. LG and HTC probably wouldn’t make the list in either case. I just picked them because they make well-known devices in the West.

      1. And my point was that you should know better, the info has been out there for a while.It’s a China phone maker, it’s retail in Q1 and S9 doesn’t have a Synaptics made fingerprint sensor.

        The new bits today are that the part is in volume production and that at CES “Synaptics welcomes press and analysts to join us for a live demonstration of in-display fingerprint on a full-production, soon to be announced Tier 1 customer phone”
        Those bits are a confirmation of the previously announced schedule and make it very clear that by CES there will be full-production units of this first device – that means retail right away.

        1. OK, I admit I missed the bit in the end about a “soon to be announced tier 1” phone, which did lead to some of the wild speculation.

          1. If curious to maybe find out more info, they got their Investor meeting in a few minutes. It’s likely a few hours long and there might be only a few bits of interest but you never know.

          2. Are you talking about the Vivo phone?
            That was using the in-display fingerprint reader from Qualcomm.

            Unless you mean the Xiaomi Mi 5S ?
            Well, that is under-glass but technically not in-display.

            I agree with Brad, that Synaptics says its coming to a “Tier 1” phone, that means a Flagship, from an OEM that is in the top five of the world. That could mean Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, or Xiaomi.

            Your usual phones: LG, HTC, Moto, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry are not it, but don’t have to necessarily be excluded. Also other popular options are: Lenovo, ZTE, Meizu, Asus.

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