On-Screen Fingerprint Scanner – A Myth or Reality of Tomorrow? (The Untold Facts and Secrets)
A fingerprint sensor placed on the front embedded in the home button or at the back below the camera is a norm now. Fingerprint Lock is a common feature among smartphones nowadays, which is easy-to-use and offers premium security at the same time.
But with phones going bezel-less, there are a lot of changes happening on where the fingerprint scanner can be placed. Without Bezels, we may get to see the first batch of smartphones with the latest on-screen fingerprint technology.
But is this actually possible? Let’s deep dive a bit.
Can a Touch Screen scan as well as a Fingerprint?
The simple answer is NO. The touch screens the smartphones use now are capacitive touch (which are good for finger touches), More often than not, they cannot detect the difference between a touch and pressure. That means the screen can’t differentiate between pressure and touch, and hence cannot detect a fingerprint (most of the times).
How does a Fingerprint Scanner Function?
The fingerprint scanner on your phone has the touch sensors, which relies on the electric current, which passes through your finger when you place your finger on the scanner and it finally reaches up to the main processor.
So, the On-Screen Fingerprint Technology is Never Possible?
No, it is possible. The touch screen we use cannot detect or scan a fingerprint, but a display with the special technology called Display Fingerprint Solution (DFS) can make it happen. With DFS, the screen can scan a fingerprint. The module is embedded under the smartphone display and the handset will be capable of detecting any touch as light as a single hair. The screen with DFS can extract fingerprints of high resolution at 500 dots per inch.
How DFS (Display Fingerprint Solution) Works?
Though nothing has been clarified, the technology involves the acoustic scanning feature in the ultrasound range. The Ultrasonic Scanning is far more sensitive than normal capacitive scanning but comes with a number of drawbacks.
Why are Smartphone Manufacturers not opting for it?
Well from Apple to Samsung, all the big companies around the world have faced issues in producing a screen that can scan a fingerprint. Not to blame them, but an on-screen fingerprint scanner will cause a number of complications –
- Display Brightness Imbalance (reportedly that is why Samsung is giving up on the on-screen optical fingerprint sensor)
- High Power Consumption
- Costly (the overall price of the phone will go up)
Rumours and Reality
Amidst all rumours, iPhone 8 and Note 8 were among the top contenders to get an on-screen fingerprint scanner and have a high-resolution scanning feature through 1mm glass with no capacitive home button. But, not Apple or Samsung, Vivo is rumoured to have made it possible.
The VIVO Rumour
Vivo is rumoured to have made the first smartphone with an on-screen fingerprint scanner, and will soon launch at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month in Shanghai. A video of a Vivo phone (exactly similar to Vivo X9 Plus) getting unlocked via a fingerprint scanner embedded within the screen, went viral on the social media. The Chinese website Weibo put out the video and the poster of the video even claimed that the device is all set to launch in a few months.
All in all, I think we will have to wait for the first smartphone to arrive with an on-screen fingerprint scanner and only then we can come to a confirmed conclusion whether it works or not!
What do you think? Do let us know in the comments section!