Soon our phones are going to turn into huge slabs of glass displaying high definition graphics, as according to Synaptics, who are known to build state of the art physical user interfaces for many devices, they are introducing first-ever optical-based fingerprint sensor for smartphones.
The company has made its name by coming up with fingerprint scanners, touch screens and trackpads, and was the company behind iPod’s popular scroll wheel. Synaptics is now bringing the new FS9100 sensor, which will be able to detect fingerprints through up to 1mm of glass.
This essentially means that future phones will replace their home buttons as well as a stand-alone fingerprint sensor, and instead, both of them will be built right into the display.
IDC Research Director Les Santiago in a press release,
“By bringing optical sensing technology with the right form factor and power consumption envelope to smartphones and tablets, Synaptics is enabling the elimination of the home button which is a critical next step to full top-to-bottom, edge-to-edge smartphone and tablet displays.”
Synaptics’ new sensor technology could finally herald the coming of a much anticipated edge-to-edge display, and we might witness this as soon as the launch of iPhone 8, which has been rumored to entail an OLED-screen with edge-to-edge glass screen.
Synaptics claims that the FS9100 sensor is will be both extremely thin and low in power consumption. This is an important aspect as these two barriers prevented optical sensors previously designed from becoming a reality.
The FS9100 sensor has been specifically designed to be inserted under the glass near the bottom bezel of devices. The screen will make the FS9100 sensor scratchproof and waterproof, and will also scan fingerprints even with wet fingers.
The sensor will also operate even if it is covered by “thick 2.5D glass.”
A Synaptics spokesperson also explained that they are incorporating fake fingerprints and taking care of problems like “gummy bear hack” using their SentryPoint Security Suite based on the Quantum Matcher PurePrint technology. This uses artificial intelligence to figure out fake prints from the real ones, thus making the technology essentially fool proof.
The FS9100 chips will be mass produced sometime in Q2 of 2017, which coincides with the time for mass-production of the iPhone 8. However, these are all speculations until Apple formally announces a partnership.
Are you excited about the edge to edge mobiles of the future?