The technology, named Clear ID works has an illuminated fingerprint image below the display on the screen, which can be used to unlock the phone.

Vivo to be first smartphone maker to use Synaptics in-display fingerprint sensor
Atom Tech Shorts Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 16:39

While a majority of smartphones continue to rely on rear panel mounted fingerprint sensor, Synaptics might just about be a disruptive force with its ‘in-display’ fingerprint sensing technology. The company has made an announcement recently that it has tied up with one of the top-five smartphone vendors on developing this technology. It now transpires that it is Vivo, which is working with Synaptics on the project and the idea is to release all its new phones in 2018 with this fingerprint sensor technology and chucking the rear mounted one.

The technology, named Clear ID works like this: There will be an illuminated fingerprint image below the display on the screen and by touching this, the phone can be unlocked. Synaptics claims that its technology is faster than the 3-D face recognition technology introduced by Apple recently. The company also allayed the doubts on the mass availability of its sensors, which was cited as an issue for it not becoming very popular so far. The company says 70 million units of the component will be made available to the market in 2018.  

From the smartphone makers’ point of view, it would solve a few problems for them, since the new normal of the infinity or full screen display becomes easier to provision on the front of their devices and the general sense is that the location of the fingerprint sensor in the rear panel was not quite a comfortable location for it.

Now the question of the ‘top-five’ smartphone makers list is also being clarified by placing Vivo at the fifth spot following Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi. Interestingly, the brands Oppo and Vivo and even OnePlus are all owned by one BBK Electronics and the brands have been involved in introducing path-breaking technologies and features in smartphones in the past. Fast charging technology is one such area where these brands had taken the lead in disrupting the then existing technology.

Another matter of interest here is that Qualcomm also has an in-display fingerprint sensor technology and Vivo was in fact working with Qualcomm, before the Synaptics announcement came through. The two may remain the major rivals in this space through 2018.

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