CES 2018: The First In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Has Arrived, Courtesy Chinese Company Vivo

By Tom Pritchard on at

For the longest time it was rumoured that the iPhone X would keep TouchID by embedding the fingerprint scanner into the phone's display. As the launch date drew closer, more reports surfaced claiming Apple had abandoned the idea because it wasn't working out.

Whether Apple and its competitors still have in-display fingerprint scanning aspirations or not, they won't be the first to make it happen. That honour goes to Chinese company Vivo who are showing it off at CES.

The scanner is located beneath the bottom of the screen, where the usual glass panel has been replaced by a panel of OLEDs (see the image below). Anytime you need to verify your identity, whether it's to unlock your phone or verify a purchase, a fingerprint image appears to let you know it's ready to scan. All you need to do is place your fingerprint of choice onto the image, and it'll get to work.

Vivo had initially announced it was working on in-display fingerprint scanning at MWC Shanghai last June, but back then it was trying to make it work with Qualcomm's ultrasonic sensors that proved to be too slow. Things changed when the company partnered with Synaptics, which publicly unveiled its own in-display fingerprint sensor last month. That scanner is able to see between pixels in an OLED display, which is why the scanner still works from underneath the touchscreen.

So far the sensor isn't available in any of Vivo's handsets, but that's set to change in the near future. Announcements are set to be made some point soon, and since the sensor is ready for mass-production it shouldn't be too long. MWC is only a month and a half away, so that would be the perfect place to reveal more details.

According to The Verge Vivo's scanner is slower than the standard fingerprint scanners already available in phones, in terms of set-up and actually verifying the print. Thankfully it's not so slow that it's a problem, and the lag is likely to do with the fact this is brand new tech that needs a bit of time to catch up. [NeoWin]

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