None of the recently announced flagship smartphones come with an under-screen fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy S8 series was expected to come with one but Samsung couldn’t develop the tech to bring the embedded scanners. Now the Apple iPhone 8 is rumoured to come with a fingerprint scanner that can be placed below the display.
The iPhone 8 is just rumoured to sport the next generation of fingerprint scanners but Qualcomm recently showcased a working smartphone this new scanner. The announcement was made during MWC Shanghai a couple of days back and the company confirmed that the supply of these scanners will start in Summer 2018.
Qualcomm was the first company to announce the ultrasonic fingerprint scanners back in 2015. The scanner was able to scan the fingerprints while sitting below a glass sheet but, being in its initial development stages, it couldn’t be placed below the display and metal just yet. With more than two years put into development, the company is finally ready to bring the scanners to the mass market.
As per the company, the scanner can be placed under an OLED panel of up to 1200 μm thickness. And for metals like aluminium, the max thickness is 650 μm, and 800 μm for glass. The company has left the LCD panels out of consideration.
The company went a step ahead and expanded the scope of the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. Qualcomm has become the first one to embed a heart rate sensor into the fingerprint scanner. The ultrasonic tech will not only allow the manufacturers to have better-designed smartphones but will also be much more accurate while analysing the fingerprints. The scanner will also work when your fingers are wet and even when underwater.
Qualcomm is trying to position itself as a major supplier of fingerprint scanners by announcing that all the scanners will also work with non-Qualcomm chipsets. The scanners that will work only under glass and metal, and not under the display, will be available sooner with their commercial rollout starting in early 2018. The under-screen scanners will be available from summer 2018.