samsung galaxy s8 screen

Displays with minimal bezels were the biggest trend we saw in smartphones this year from the expensive to the affordable. However, providing these displays presented a challenge for some companies, forcing them to move the fingerprint sensor to the back or ditch it entirely, all because the technology to toss the sensor under the display simply wasn’t ready. Now, it is, thanks to Synaptics

“Clear ID” is Synaptics new under-display fingerprint sensor which is set to enter mass production for the first time next year. We’ve seen the tech to do this a couple of times from the likes of Qualcomm and others, but no one has been able to get it to mass production before Synaptics. Apparently, this new sensor is going to be available for a “top 5 OEM” in 2018 for a device with a “bezel-light” display.

Synaptics points out that Clear ID doesn’t trade-off anything like other fingerprint sensor solutions have. The clear shot is at Apple’s Face ID which, while impressive, is still much slower than a fingerprint sensor. Clear ID is apparently twice as fast as “3D facial recognition” and, of course, only requires one touch to work.

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. In-display fingerprint technology allows users to securely unlock the device in situations including while it’s sitting on the table, at any angle, or while in a car mount. Synaptics’ Clear ID performance is twice as fast as 3D facial recognition and requires only one touch to access your smartphone.

We don’t have any information just yet on who Synaptics is working with to launch this sensor on the smartphone market, or which top 5 the company is referencing. Assuming we’re talking about worldwide smartphone sales, that would mean Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo, or Vivo.

The top 5 in the United States would include LG, Motorola, and HTC. Personally, I’d place a bet on Samsung or LG being first to bring this tech to their 2018 flagships, potentially one later in the year.

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Ben Schoon

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