High 3D Face Sensor Costs Pushing Android OEMs to In-Display Fingerprint Scanning

Apple’s Android competitors won’t be able to implement sophisticated facial recognition in their own devices until the latter half of next year, and are instead embracing in-display fingerprint scanning technology in the meantime, suggest new industry reports.High 3D Face Sensor Costs Pushing Android OEMs to In-Display Fingerprint Scanning

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes asserts that Android device makers, which tend to target the middle of the smartphone price spectrum, have found that the kind of 3D facial recognition technology used in Apple’s iPhone X is simply too expensive to implement in their own devices, with sensor prices having reach a high of $60 per unit in the production of Apple’s latest iPhones. But the entire industry is straining to reach full-size displays, and at the same time many OEMs are looking to implement next-generation biometric authentication into their devices. On both counts, new in-display fingerprint sensor technologies from Qualcomm, Synaptics, and others would seem to fit the bill.

That doesn’t mean 3D facial recognition isn’t in the cards for the future, but it might be a long way off. Renowned industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicts that other smartphone makers won’t be able to implement depth-sensing facial recognition technology until next year, and even then it won’t be based on the same kind of infrared imaging technology used in Apple’s Face ID, but rather time of flight sensors, which offer a less expensive alternative.

Kuo says he doesn’t expect such solutions to hit the market until the third quarter of next year, and he predicts that it will be Huawei leading the pack – one of the few companies, ironically, that has established itself as a pioneer of in-display fingerprint scanning with its new Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS.

Sources: DigitTimes, Slash Gear, 9to5Mac