For a long time this year, it was believed that Apple’s iPhone X would have a Touch ID sensor embedded under the screen. As we got closer to the phone’s launch, it became clear that Apple replaced it with 3D face recognition technology. Then Apple told everyone that Touch ID wasn’t even in the cards for the iPhone X, no matter what all those rumors said.
Samsung was rumored to work on similar technology for its Galaxy phones, but reports said the tech wasn’t mature for this year’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 models. Other rumors claimed that only next year’s Samsung flagship may feature screens with built-in fingerprint sensors, and newer stories said that we’d have to wait for the Galaxy Note 9. The Galaxy S9 won’t get one, they said.
A new announcement from Synaptics, the company that revealed earlier that it’s working on fingerprint sensors for displays, may give Samsung fans some hope.
The press release says Synaptics is already mass-producing the component, called Clear ID™ FS9500, with a top five smartphone manufacturer.
Synaptics never named its partner, but it dropped several hints that it may be Samsung:
Designed for smartphones with infinity displays, Synaptics’ Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors magically activate in the display only when needed.
Infinity Display is actually a Samsung trademark for the all-screen design used in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. No other smartphones come with Infinity Displays other than Samsung’s. And Synaptics used it twice:
The new Synaptics Clear ID optical fingerprint sensors deliver one-touch high-resolution scanning through full cover glass and enable sleek, button-free, bezel-free infinity displays.
There’s also this gem, which mentions OLED Infinity Displays.
“Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself,” said Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Synaptics. “Synaptics’ Clear ID fingerprint sensors are faster, more convenient, and more secure than alternative biometrics, and this optical technology represents a major innovation shift and opportunity for the smartphone market.”
Again, only Samsung phones have Infinity Displays.
Synaptics may be referring to the Galaxy Note 9. That’s still a more likely possibility, considering that most Galaxy S9 design leaks suggest the phone has a fingerprint sensor on the back. But one can always hope Samsung somehow find a way to include the tech in the upcoming Galaxy S9 models.