Synaptics’ in-display fingerprint sensor technology is going to be used first in a Vivo smartphone.
The news comes just a few days after Synaptics’ announcement that it had in-display fingerprint sensors in mass production, and that it would soon be deployed in a ‘Tier 1’ smartphone, with demos planned for the Consumer Electronics Show. Synaptics didn’t name its customer in its initial announcement, and some of its language, together with a variety of other factors, had led some to speculate that the technology would be deployed in Samsung’s next flagship smartphone; but it has now revealed that the customer in question is Vivo, which some consider to be the world’s fifth most popular smartphone brand.
The Vivo announcement is a surprise for another reason, too: When Qualcomm announced that it had developed pioneering in-display fingerprint sensor technology at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, it showcased the technology in a modified Vivo device. So while leaked images this summer suggested that Vivo’s Xplay 7 smartphone would feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, the natural assumption would have been that such technology would be coming from Qualcomm.
New details have also emerged about Synaptics’ technology, with Forbes contributor Patrick Moorhead reporting that the in-display solution relies on a 0.7mm-thick CMOS image sensor, and that it’s somewhere between two to three times less expensive than the Face ID infrared facial recognition system of Apple’s iPhone X – the latter detail being perhaps not much of a surprise, given the thousand-dollar price tag of that phone.
It still isn’t clear which Vivo device will feature the in-display sensor technology, or when it will launch, but the news offers a surprising conclusion to a year of behind-the-scenes activity as various biometrics specialists and smartphone makers have intensively pursued in-display fingerprint sensor technology.