This feature may give Vivo the 'edge' over Samsung

Vivo is hugely popular in China and India.   Romeo Ranoco  Reuters

Vivo is hugely popular in China and India. Romeo Ranoco Reuters

Credit: ShutterstockSynaptics, the firm responsible for producing the sensors, has revealed that Chinese phone maker Vivo will be its first customer.

Vivo, a company whose name might not be familiar to you, is actually a top-five smartphone maker thanks to its large presence in Chine.

Earlier this week, Synaptics announced it has begun mass production with a top-five OEM to produce its new Clear ID FS9500 in-display fingerprint sensor. Forbes claims the scanner was fast and simple, though notably in its pre-production form it did require waking up the screen with a button press before using it - a step which will hopefully be removed by the time it hits the market.

New details have also emerged about Synaptics' technology, with Forbes contributor Patrick Moorhead reporting that the in-display solution relies on a 0.7mm-thick CMOS image sensor, and that it's somewhere between two to three times less expensive than the Face ID infrared facial recognition system of Apple's iPhone X - the latter detail being perhaps not much of a surprise, given the thousand-dollar price tag of that phone. In order for the technology to work, the finger has to be illuminated, so the scanner can read the reflection on the finger scan.

Embedding fingerprint sensors in displays has proven tricky and was why the Apple iPhone X lacked Touch ID in its OLED display.

Overall, it looks like the Synaptics Clear ID technology is very reliable based on Moorhead's experience. The company was ranked fifth in IDC's Q1 2017 report, as pointed out by The Verge.

REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschA person uses a sensor for biometric identification on a smartphone in Berlin, Germany October 16, 2015. This is clearly setting a path for more smartphones to come with an "all-screen" design that integrates the fingerprint scanner with the display. What's more, the in-display fingerprint sensor will only get activated when it's needed in an effort to preserve battery life.

Lastly, let us also remind you that Synaptics' announcement of the world's first in-screen fingerprint scanner is a bit of a blow to Qualcomm. Vivo also made headlines back in June when it demonstrated an in-display fingerprint scanner from Qualcomm. The fact that the sensors are now being mass-produced is a clear indication that it will be showing up on a smartphone by next year.

Latest News