South Korean smartphone conglomerate Samsung is possibly set to rock the technology marketplace once again with a new revolution. The company might be developing a cutting-edge ‘under-display’ technology that could convert an entire smartphone screen into a fingerprint sensor – one we’re likely to see in the Galaxy S10.
Samsung has made a new patent application which might enable the company to create an optical fingerprint reader that would be beneath the display of a smartphone. These fingerprint readers need a dedicated low power processor so that they don’t consume too much battery power whilst waiting for inputs from the user. These could also be used on foldable smartphones. This would be quite astonishing for the technological world, as well as for the company’s own business, acknowledging the wide-scale demand for Samsung-made screens, if the company succeeds in converting an entire display into an in-display fingerprint scanner.
The patent describes that the entire display would be divided into various pixel groups and when it senses an input, the brightness of that particular region would increase to trace the input. This new biometric sensor will also have different brightness levels of 200nits, 600nits and a greater brightness mode that could emit over 1000nits of brightness. Samsung is trying to conclude the entire fingerprint scanning and unlocking event in a device in around 700ms wherein a scan would require around 20-30ms and the brightness adjustment will take a 200-300ms.
The application is accompanied by a fascinating image that shows how the sensor can be embedded in mobile devices. One of the devices shown is a simple model with bezels around the display, very much resembling the structure to that of Galaxy S3. However, this is not the first time that Samsung is applying for a patent for an in-display fingerprint sensor. An earlier patent indicated that the company might add four extra sensors in addition to an ultrasonic sensor which, by the way, is planned to be implemented in Samsung Galaxy S10 as notified by DJ Koh – Samsung’s President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Divison. It is also expected that the company could include a dedicated ultrasonic transmission module to activate any particular area in the screen to initiate a scan.
Nonetheless, this patent describes a technology which is beyond today’s smartphone fingerprint sensor technology. The new sensor has been described as far more accurate, faster and easier to use as compared to the current implementations of this technology by other companies. There are already speculations of Samsung having incorporated the front camera under the display. This could be seen as a big leap forward for Samsung after the development of edge-to-edge displays. It is still not certain whether this new patented technology would be included in the Samsung Galaxy S10; however, Samsung could incorporate much more features marking the decade of the Galaxy S Series smartphones.
Arguably, you also not want to jump on to taking these patents very seriously, as companies keep patenting unique futuristic projects. The last step rests on the current technology available with the company and whether it decided to use a patent with a new device or not.