First in-screen fingerprint sensor announced in a smartphone

Vivo mobile phone with Synaptics in-display fingerprint sensor

Following a teaser this week, Vivo at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) unveiled the world's first smartphone to sport an in-display fingerprint sensor provided by Synaptics.

Though Apple is all but certain to adopt an under-the-glass Touch ID solution on its high-end iPhone 8, a report which surfaced roughly two weeks ago insisted that Cupertino's crown jewel wouldn't be the first smartphone to ship with a display-embedded fingerprint scanner. (LCDs are a no-go due to their backlights.) The light from the OLED display itself illuminates your fingerprint, which the sensor "sees" and checks against the print stored on the phone.

At the end of 2016, it notes, Synaptics released UnderGlass, an optical solution for fingerprint sensing, which overcomes the limitation that capacitive solutions can not sense through the glass panel of phones.

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Qualcomm says its technology will be the first of such that's commercially available, capable of scanning through either OLED displays or aluminum, and that the company is planning to make its Fingerprint Sensors available to OEMs as early as this month - which means we should expect to see the technology debut in high-end smartphones as early as the first-half of 2018.

Vivo's promotional photo teasing in-display fingerprint scanning.

The best thing about this implementation of a fingerprint scanner is that it looks practically invisible. However, the sensor wasn't as responsive as Vivo would have liked. Device manufacturers were left with very little options, one of them being moving the fingerprint sensor towards the back of the phone - a move which received mostly negative reviews. Simply place your finger over the icon and press gently.

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Yes, Vivo is the first phone, which was made available in the market with this new technology, however, it is just the beginning, and we are waiting to see new and more advanced technology this year. Place your finger there, wait for a split second and the phone will unlock with a cool animation taking place.

For as many times as the fingerprint sensor worked, it failed just as many times.

Like many other smartphones, the fingerprint scanner is always waiting to detect a fingerprint when screen is off. Symantec is also claiming the feature to be actually more robust than now used system given that more than 300 parameters are taken care of to authenticate a user, which greatly reduces the possibility of a hack. Or when I'm in bed and Face ID doesn't work inches from my face because it needs to be held farther away.

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