With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 having such a short time on the market due to manufacturing defects, all eyes are now fixed on the South Korean tech giant's next flagship phone: the Galaxy S8. It's likely that Samsung will attempt to equip its upcoming premium smartphone with more innovative technologies in order to demonstrate its prowess, and according to a fresh rumor passed along on the Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo earlier today, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the world's first smartphone to utilize an optical fingerprint recognition sensor.
There are a few types of fingerprint recognition sensors, including capacitive sensors, ultrasonic sensors (such as Qualcomm's Sense ID technology first used on the LeEco Le Max Pro), and optical sensors. Oddly enough, however, although optical fingerprint scanning technology is the oldest from the bunch, it has yet to be used on smartphones, possibly due to the fact that they are not as secure as the alternatives. Optical sensors work not unlike regular camera sensors, taking 2D images of the user's fingerprint and using the data for secure authentication, so they are more likely to be fooled by forged fingerprints. However, according to a rumor originating from a Sina Weibo user located in Seoul, South Korea, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the world's first smartphone to make use of optical fingerprint recognition sensors. As for why Samsung could choose this type of technology, aside from the aforementioned drawbacks, optical fingerprint sensors can apparently be fitted behind the smartphone's display without requiring its own dedicated button. In theory, this could lead to a much more streamlined design and would allow Samsung Galaxy S8 users to unlock their devices by simply tapping the display area. Moreover, rumors have it that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature a curved display on all four sides, providing a bezel-free experience and possibly facilitating the use of optical fingerprint recognition sensors.
However, the source also mentions that these sensors are manufactured in small quantities at the moment, but given the fact that Samsung's next premium smartphone is at least three months away from its official unveiling, it's likely that production will ramp up just in time for the technology to debut on the Galaxy S8. But at the end of the day, keep in mind the nature of unconfirmed rumors and maintain a healthy dose of skepticism, at least until more details emerge.