Meizu seems to be entertaining the idea of implementing in-display fingerprint sensors in its future phones, at least according to a recently discovered patent application pertaining to this type of technology. Interestingly enough, the application was filed last year but emerged on China's social network Weibo only recently a few days after it was published, suggesting that Meizu has been considering the use of in-display fingerprint sensors for nearly a year, at least.
Also interesting to note is the way Meizu might be implementing this technology in the future, specifically the fact that the in-panel fingerprint sensor could eventually be placed right under the new Halo Button. As a reminder, the software Halo button was first implemented on the Meizu M6s launched in January of this year, and replaced the company's popular mBack physical key to make more room for a full-screen 18:9 display covering most of the front panel. This new software Halo button is multifunctional and can be used for issuing different commands by tapping, pressing, or hold-pressing it. Now, judging by the patent application at hand, the Halo button could also determine the location of the in-panel fingerprint sensor for future Meizu smartphones, and the Halo button's design could change from a simple circle into a fingerprint icon in order to inform users that the scanner is ready for use. According to sources, the in-panel fingerprint sensor would not only be capable of unlocking devices but could also be used for authorizing mobile payments, and as such the Halo button's design and functionality could change on the fly in scenarios where in-app purchases would be offered.
As yet there's no telling when Meizu might make use of in-panel display technology or if its next flagship phone – the Meizu 15 Plus – will have any relation to this patent application, but either way in-panel sensors are already a reality as demonstrated by Vivo at the Mobile World Congress, and more OEMs are likely to adopt it for their future models throughout 2018. It remains to be seen whether or not Meizu will be the next OEM in line to present a full-screen smartphone with a fingerprint scanner hidden behind the display, or if the company intends on using the same kind of sensor developed by Synaptics and employed by Vivo's X20 Plus UD.