LCD In Display Fingerprint Scanner Arriving In Smartphones Next Year
The in display fingerprint scanners for smartphones was first shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last year by Vivo. Few months after, the technology was made commercially available in the form of the Vivo X21 UD smartphone. Since then, many other major OEMs have started providing an in display fingerprint sensor on their devices.
Notably, the feature has been limited to smartphones that feature an OLED display. Mainly due to the reason that only an OLED display allows light to pass through; to authenticate a fingerprint via the underneath mounted sensor. While there are benefits to an OLED display, they are significantly expensive than LCD displays to be used in smartphones.
Now, another Chinese display giant BOE; who is one of the world’s largest display suppliers has announced it has successfully developed the technology. The company plans on mass producing LCD displays with support for in display fingerprint scanners by the end of this year. This suggests handsets with the technology will be ready for primetime by early next year.
What Makes It Groundbreaking?
As mentioned above, traditional in display fingerprint scanners use light to authenticate and unlock the smartphone, like in the OnePlus 6T. These are called Optical fingerprint scanners. Samsung in its Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10 5G uses an ultrasonic in display fingerprint sensor. As opposed to optical ones, these use a sonic pulse wave to authenticate the user’s fingerprint and is claimed to be more secure than the former. In the past, both instances have used an OLED display to work because neither light nor a sonic pulse wave can pass through conventional LCD displays.
As LCD displays are more affordable to manufacture and are found in abundance in budget and mid-range smartphones; an LCD in display fingerprint scanner is big news. This insinuates future budget devices may be featuring a fingerprint sensor inside the handset’s screen. Surprisingly, a senior executive at Xiaomi has already confirmed that smartphones with this feature will be released as early as the next year.
Back in the month of April, a Chinese company Fortsense also announced; that it has successfully tested working in display fingerprint scanning technology for LCD displays. This news was considered a groundbreaking breakthrough, as Statistics have shown that LCD-screen models accounted for up to 85% of a total of 1.456 billion smartphones shipped worldwide in 2018. It also meant that if more major display makers follow suit, the technology would be available in major budget devices.