underscreen fingerprint scanner

There’s no doubt that Apple and Samsung have been industry leaders in creating the best smartphones for years now.

They’re spending countless dollars creating new technology to make their devices faster and packed full of new features.

In the past year, both Apple and Samsung were rumoured to have been working on devices which have fingerprint scanners underneath the front display.

Yet as we now know, they both couldn’t develop a product fast enough and released devices with other features (such as Face ID) to allow themselves more time to create this new piece of tech.

With Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S9, quickly approaching the announcement date, the rumours have pointed to Samsung pushing their version of the front-display fingerprimt scanner off the agenda yet again.

Luckily enough, a company based in China named Vivo has released the solution to all of Apple and Samsung’s questions in their latest phone; the Vivo X20 Plus.

Photo from Liliputing.com

Is it faster than Touch ID / Face ID?

The iPhone 7+ has an average speed of 0.91 seconds when using Touch ID to unlock the device while the iPhone X takes an average of 1.5 seconds to unlock using Face ID.

For most, this is fast enough. But to Vivo, they pushed the limits and have now made it possible to unlock your device in  0.7 seconds. This still isn’t as fast as devices such as the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 but given the fact the scanner is underneath the glass, it’s very impressive.

Although it is very fast, it isn’t a final cut solution and does occasionally fail to recognize your fingerprints.

Is it reliable?

This new fingerprint scanner is said to work exceptionally well with both wet and dry fingers. Since it is covered in glass, it’s also water and scratch proof. Despite this, Synaptic’s fingerprint scanner will come with one major flaw: it won’t work with a thick screen protector. When it comes to the protection of your device, you’ll have to risk it with a thin glass or plastic screen protector.

How safe is it?

On Synaptics’ website they state that they use many different highly secure authentication features to ensure that it is nearly impossible to trick your device.

In addition to these features, it uses artificial intelligence as well as TLS protocol with ECC authentication and AES encryption to prevent being tricked by 3D printed fingerprints and pictures.

In plain English, they’re using top of the line security to make sure that no one but you will be able to unlock your device.

Can you see it under the glass? 

According to Linus over at Linus Tech Tips it is possible to see, but only under very specific lighting and viewing angles. So in everyday use, the scanner would not be visible.

Why does this matter?

With this technology already rolling out in Vivo’s new phones, we should see under-glass fingerprint scanners in Apple and Samsung’s newest flagship devices very soon which brings us one step closer to truly bezel-less displays.

This is a huge step in terms of finally developing a fully bezel-less display and we’ll hopefully see this tech implemented into new devices in the near future.

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