With the announcement of the Galaxy S9 due in just a few months, Samsung has patented a feature long rumored to arrive in smartphones: the screen-embedded fingerprint scanner.
The South Korean company has been granted a patent for the technology by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which will allow it to finally implement this tech in a future flagship.
The filed patent hints at a mechanism which includes a 12-point pressure system, which sits between the touch sensor and the cover glass. It will be bundled with an accompanying software which will make its use possible.
Additional Software Features
The sensor is embedded in the bottom layers of the display, which means pretty much the entire screen is covered within its proximity. As a result, there are a wide range of software based gestures or features that can be used with this.
For example, upon opening an app where sensitive data is stored, such as the gallery or messages, the screen will recognize whether the finger tapping is that of a user or an unknown person.
If an unauthorized person tries to access these apps, a limited set of images and messages will be displayed making sure that the unauthorized user doesn’t get to the important info.
The feature was rumored to be included in pretty much every recent flagship phone, including the new iPhone X. However, by getting rid of the Touch ID it pretty much rendered the entire fingerprint unlocking mechanism redundant, until introduced next time (if at all).
While most phones today feature a fingerprint sensor below the display or at the back (and in the case of the S8, in an awkward position beside the lens), the new mechanism could signal the start of an even more seamless design on smartphones.