Breakthrough: Fingerprint Scanners are coming to your Smartphone’s Display Screen, but there’s a catch

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Before Samsung released the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the talk of the town was that the tech giant would be the first to build fingerprint scanners inside smartphone display screens, but this did not happen as claimed.

Instead, the story turned to the Galaxy Note 8, but according to the many leaks and rumors doing rounds regarding this phablet, it also won’t be the case. Other sections have also claimed that Apple’s iPhone 8 will be the first to debut this technology later this year, but at the ongoing MWC Shanghai, American chipmaker, Qualcomm, has just made a breakthrough announcement.

At last, the dream of having a fingerprint scanner built into your smartphone’s display has been realized. The company says that starting next summer; smartphones will be able to have an in-display fingerprint scanner thanks to the ultrasonic fingerprint detection technology it announced earlier. With this ultrasonic technology, the sensor will be able to “see” through your phone’s display screen in order to scan your finger, but there’s a catch.

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Apparently, in order for this to be possible, the display panel shouldn’t be too thick. This design, according to Qualcomm, will only work on OLED panels with a thickness of no more than 1200µm. What this means is that devices that use LCD panels will still have the usual fingerprint scanners.

Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors

It gets even better as Qualcomm says that this fingerprint scanning technology will go beyond the norms and include things like the ability to detect blood flow and heart rate. Whether your phone’s display is on, off or even underwater, the scanner will still work. Since the fingerprint sensor will live under the display panel, it will be a lot easier building waterproof phones since no holes will have to be drilled into the phone in order to create room for a fingerprint scanner like with the case of capacitive scanners.

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Interestingly, Qualcomm notes that your phone won’t need a Snapdragon chipset in order to support this technology; rather, any chipset will be supported.


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