- Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
- Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone may include a new display technology intended to make the device thinner and lighter, but the technology may have a second underlying purpose: to make it easier for Samsung to implement in-display fingerprint scanners.
- If true, Samsung could be testing the technology on the Galaxy S9 before introducing an in-display fingerprint sensor on a future smartphone.
- Samsung may now feel pressure to release its long-rumored feature after a small Chinese competitor announced a device with an in-display fingerprint sensor, which will soon release to market.
Though Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S9 smartphone isn’t expected to have a fingerprint scanner embedded in its display, Samsung’s device may include a precursor technology for the feature.
Recent reports suggest the Galaxy S9 may include a new display technology, which allows the device’s touchscreen sensors to be placed directly on the flexible portion of its display. The technology is called a “Y-OCTA display” or “Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED.”
While details indicate the main purpose of the technology is to help decrease the thickness and weight of smartphones, it may also be connected to how in-display fingerprint scanners work on Samsung devices. Android Community noted that smartphones, including the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 7, were rumored to include Y-OCTA displays before they released.
These devices were also rumored to include in-display fingerprint scanners but ultimately hit the market without either feature. Samsung reportedly found the fingerprint sensors disrupted the quality of its already-perfected OLED display technology.
Chinese competition may push Samsung’s technology development
Samsung may now be feeling pressure to introduce in-display fingerprint scanners on its flagship devices, since Chinese manufacturer Vivo announced the Vivo X20 Plus smartphone at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with an in-display fingerprint scanner. It was one of the most buzzed-about phones at the show.
The smartphone is scheduled to release in China on Wednesday.
Vivo worked with the sensor maker Synaptics to include its “Clear ID” fingerprint sensor on the Vivo X20 Plus. Synaptics has stated to plans to produce over 70 million units of the sensor in 2018, which hints that the feature may be included in devices other than the Vivo X20 Plus.
There is no word on whether Samsung is working with Synaptics on in-display fingerprint scanners; however, Samsung has previously used capacitive-button fingerprint sensors by Synaptics on its devices. Past rumors suggested Samsung is considering several component companies to supply in-display fingerprint sensors for future devices.
No feature details about the Samsung Galaxy S9 are confirmed at this time, but Samsung has stated that the smartphone will be announced in late February during the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona.