Apple may be moving away from the fingerprint sensor, but that doesn’t mean the entire market is trending in that direction. Synaptics on Tuesday announced its in-display fingerprint sensor technology is ready for mass production, and will appear in a device made by a “top five OEM”—and it probably won’t be Apple based on the language used in Synaptics’ announcement.
Synaptics has dubbed the technology Clear ID, claiming its system is “faster than alternative biometrics such as 3D facial,” a clear shot at Apple’s Face ID, which was introduced in the iPhone X. In fact, Synaptics claims its system is twice as fast as 3D facial recognition, saying it can easily be used at any angle and while sitting on a table.
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. Synaptics’ high-performance Clear ID FS9500 optical solution excels with wet, dry and cold fingers, and since it’s protected by glass, is durable, scratchproof and waterproof.
According to Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager of Synaptics’ mobile division, consumers prefer their fingerprint sensor to be on the front of their device, which is why the company worked toward perfecting its in-display technology, rather than focusing on an alternative biometric option.
The company doesn’t say which “top five OEM” will feature its in-display fingerprint sensor, so we’re left to speculate. If Samsung launched its Galaxy S9 with an in-display fingerprint sensor, it would be a huge counterpunch to the iPhone X, which doesn’t come equipped with a fingerprint sensor whatsoever.
Synaptics says we’ll get our first live demonstration of its in-display fingerprint sensor technology at CES early next month.