CrucialTec, will introduce on-screen fingerprint sensors this year, according to a new report from The Investor. Essentially eliminating the need for a front or back 'button' or 'pad' to place your finger on. There was a time when you had to unlock your smartphone with an on-screen pattern or password, but to make your device more secure and easier to unlock, the fingerprint sensor was introduced on either the front or back of the device. This design did away with the need to remember a pattern lock or another password and made it easier to use a lock-screen that many users simply bypassed. Since then, fingerprint sensors have made accessing personal information much easier for the user and a more laborious chore for hackers.
This new on-screen fingerprint technology is called Display Fingerprint Solution (DFS) and is reportedly being received with opened arms by smartphone manufacturers. A CrucialTec official has been noted explaining that we could expect to see the technology on devices this year, but declined to name any specific smartphones – rumors are that the Samsung Galaxy S8 may contain some form of screen-based fingerprint sensor.
Biometrics, referring to authentication techniques that rely on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked, has been evolving over the past few years – Samsung has even used the retina as a means to unlock a smartphone – but using fingerprints is the most common form of verification. CrucialTec holds 50 patents, and one is a thin film transistor that is ultra-sensitive and will lay under the display and can authenticate more than one fingerprint at the same time, for added security. Initially the fingerprint scanner will be in a particular spot on the display screen, but eventually, the user will be able to touch anywhere on the display for authorization. Other manufacturers, such as Synaptics, are also testing this possibility.
This could be a real game-changer for smartphone manufacturers and allow for an increase in the design possibilities of upcoming devices. There will no longer be a need for a bezel to house a front-facing fingerprint sensor nor the need to pick up your device to put your finger tip on a rear-facing sensor. Every year bezels are becoming smaller, giving the designers more room for the display. It also lends itself to smaller footprints as manufacturers can house a larger display in a smaller area. There are already patents for placing the speaker behind the display, making a bezel-less phone a reality in the near future.